AI Policy Lab

The AI Policy Lab will take up one issue each year in which the legal and regulatory environment around specific use cases of artificial intelligence is underdeveloped, and propose solutions to identifiable gaps. Research assistants will review existing literature, law, and policy to understand the current state of play. Working with the project leads and in dialogue with other Irvine Initivative fellows, they will interview subject matter experts, key stakeholders, industry participants, and advocacy organizations. They will write a review essay and several policy briefs targeted toward state and federal policymakers.

For 2021, the AI Policy Lab will focus on AI, consumer finance, and fair lending. The use of alternative data sets from those used by the credit rating agencies promises to provide access to consumers with thin credit files. It also raises the possibility of new forms of algorithmic discrimination or "digital redlining." The AI Policy Lab will spend 2021 exploring how the existing regulatory structures to ensure fairness and lending might need to be amended in light of the use of AI in credit scoring and consumer lending.


Dean Bill Maurer

Dr. Bill Maurer is Dean of the School of Social Sciences and professor of anthropology; criminology, law and society; and law at the University of California, Irvine. As an anthropologist, he is one of the world's leading experts on money's artifacts and technological systems.

Dr. Maurer's work has had an impact on U.S. and global policies for mobile payment and financial access, and it has been covered in venues ranging from Bloomberg Businessweek to The New York Times, Forbes, and Marketplace. He was appointed to the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences in 2015. He also advised the Department of Treasury and Federal Reserve on the redesign of the U.S. paper currency and has advised the British Museum and the Smithsonian on money-related artifacts and exhibitions. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received his bachelor's degree in anthropology from Vassar College and his master's and doctoral degrees in anthropology from Stanford University.

Read More

Dr. Mehrsa Baradaran

Mehrsa Baradaran is a professor of law at UCI Law. Previously, she was the Robert Cotten Alston Chair in Corporate Law and Associate Dean for strategic initiatives with a focus on diversity and inclusion efforts and national and international faculty scholarship recognition at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Baradaran writes about banking law, financial inclusion, inequality, and the racial wealth gap. Her scholarship includes the books How the Other Half Banks and The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap, both published by the Harvard University Press. The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap was awarded the Best Book of the Year by the Urban Affairs Association, the PROSE Award Honorable Mention in the Business, Finance & Management category. Baradaran was also selected as a finalist at the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Awards for the book in the category of history/biography.

Baradaran has also published articles including "Jim Crow Credit" in the Irvine Law Review, "Regulation by Hypothetical" in the Vanderbilt Law Review, "It's Time for Postal Banking" in the Harvard Law Review Forum, "Banking and the Social Contract" in the Notre Dame Law Review, "How the Poor Got Cut Out of Banking" in the Emory Law Journal, "Reconsidering the Separation of Banking and Commerce" in the George Washington Law Review and "The ILC and the Reconstruction of U.S. Banking" in the SMU Law Review. Of note, her article "The New Deal with Black America" was selected for presentation at the 2017 Stanford/Harvard/Yale Junior Faculty Forum.

Baradaran and her books have received significant national and international media coverage and have been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Slate, American Banker, the Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times; on National Public Radio's "Marketplace," C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" and Public Broadcasting Service's "NewsHour;" and as part of TEDxUGA. She has advised U.S. Senators and Congressmen on policy, testified before the U.S. Congress, and spoken at national and international forums like the U.S. Treasury and the World Bank.

She earned her bachelor's degree cum laude from Brigham Young University and her law degree cum laude from NYU, where she served as a member of the New York University Law Review.

Read More



Ann Huang

Ann is a second-year law student studying at UC Irvine, School of Law. She is originally from Michigan and has a background in the hospitality business and economics. In her studies and research, Ann is passionate about exploring the intersection between business, policy & law, and emerging technologies. She has experience in providing litigation support for expert witnesses, legal research relating to corporate governance and diversity initiatives, and supporting the development of a multi-disciplinary electronic contract platform as a project co-lead. In her free time, Ann enjoys hiking with her partner and her dog, artistic baking, and cardio kickboxing.

Dylan Joseph Gera

Dylan Gera is a law student at the University of California, Irvine working on a policy project around AI and consumer financial services.