ChatGPT and AI: Potential Fair Housing Concerns

April 5, 2023

- By Kate Berard

Artificial Intelligence promises to continue to make big gains in the real estate space offering digital assistance and automatically generating advertising and marketing content. However, it is crucial that REALTORS® identify potential ethical implications of this technology.

We don’t yet know how this technology will interplay with the Fair Housing Act or in regulated housing space such as affordable, student and senior housing. While AI can respond like a human, it is still technology and lacks empathy or problem solving abilities that humans possess. It will be interesting to see if despite particular programing, AI develops biases and/or violates established laws against discriminatory housing preferences. As this technology grows, it will surely become increasingly regulated. For now, it is up to you, the real estate professional to ensure that any technology you use is in compliance with fair housing laws and your obligations under the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

As HUD’s General Counsel Paul Compton stated, “Even as we confront new technologies, the fair housing laws enacted over half a century ago remain clear—discrimination in housing-related advertising is against the law.”

When in doubt, if contemplating implementing new technology, particularly technology using algorithms, seek advice of counsel to be sure any effects are not inadvertently violating the law. Although AI promises exciting developments and cost-savings, with great efficiency comes responsibility.

Practice Tip: If you choose to engage ChatGPT or other AI in your real estate business, make it your practice to double check compliance!