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Wyoming Congresswoman helping look at IRS use of Artificial Intelligence

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Posted at 11:09 PM, Mar 27, 2024

A Congressional subcommittee is calling for an investigation into a report that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may be monitoring American’s private transactions and bank accounts.

Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., is part of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government,

A computer instructor in Billings advises to be careful with information because of artificial intelligence.

Hageman from wants to investigate what she sees as a violation of constitutional rights.

Artificial Intelligence may be the world's next wild frontier, but the possibility and excitement of what may come is also tempered with concern, starting in Washington, D.C.

"We're trying to get to the bottom of what is going on with the IRS and their use of AI to basically be hacking all of our bank accounts," Hageman said.

Hageman and the subcommittee launched an inquiry into allegations that the IRS uses an AIsystem to investigate Americans suspected of tax fraud.

This followed information brought forth by an investigative reporter who allegedly confirmed the practice from an official in the IRS's Criminal Investigation Unit.

“He was excited about the fact that the IRS had access to this new technology where they could gain access to any business in the entire world, any corporation,” Hageman said. “And they could also gain access to our individual banking records.”

Hageman and committee chair Jim Jordan want to interview that IRS agent.

They have written to the Treasury and Justice Departments asking them to preserve records and materials.

"I don't think that that situation is the situation with the IRS,” said John Pannell, City College at MSU Billings computer and technology instructor. “But it's certainly worth investigating."

Pannell said while he's confident the IRS is not using AI for nefarious purposes, he does say there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding AI and its ability to obtain personal information.

"We need to go in with our eyes open about privacy and security concerns,” said Pannell. “There's a number of companies that are fighting back against these AI providers and saying hey, you never had the rights to the data that you use to train your model."

Those concerns are front of mind for Hageman who also worries constitutional rights can be violated if AI is used by the federal government, including the right against illegal search and seizure.

"It doesn't matter to me if it's a Democrat or Republican who's being targeted,” Hageman said. “The IRS has absolutely no right to use an AI algorithm to look into that bank account without complying with the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”