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49 N. Ky. L. Rev. 267 (2022)
Promulgating Poverty: How AI Technology Exacerbates Poverty Issues in Public Programs

handle is hein.journals/nkenlr49 and id is 283 raw text is: PROMULGATING POVERTY: HOW Al TECHNOLOGY
Sarah Brown*
Since 1935, the United States has funded public welfare programs for its needy
citizens.' These vital government programs provide assistance with food,
housing, health care, and other basic living expenses2 through programs such as
Supplemental Security Income (SSI),3 the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP),4 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF),5
Medicaid,6 and others. In 2018, the United States Census Bureau reported that 14
million American households received SNAP benefits; that number equated to
roughly 11.3% of the U.S. population.7 In February 2021, Medicaid alone had a
staggering 74,223,721 enrolled participants.8 By themselves, these two statistics
show that there is a tremendous need amongst U.S. citizens for government
While it is possible to lump public benefit recipients into broad categories
based on the catalyst for their need (i.e., unemployment, medical needs, etcetera),
it goes without saying that each of those people has a unique background. Despite
this, people on welfare often face harsh stereotypes.9 Whether the stereotypes
originate from racial biases, inaccurate assumptions about character, or outdated
* Special thanks to Greg and Barbara Brown for supporting me in everything I do, and to
Professor John Bickers, Sarah Benedict, Jessica Wilkerson, and Trenton Brazel for assistance with
specific issues. The views expressed are the author's alone.
1. John E. Hansan, Origins of the State and Federal Public Welfare Programs (1932-1936),
SOc. WELFARE LIBR. VCU      (Jan. 19, 2011), https://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/public-
welfare/origins-of-the-state-federal-public-welfare-programs/. (President Roosevelt signed the
Social Security Act was signed into law ... in August of 1935).
2. Government Benefits, USAGOV, (Aug. 18, 2021), https://www.usa.gov/benefits.
3. About Public Assistance, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, https://www.census.gov/topics/income-
poverty/public-assistance/about.html (last visited Nov. 16, 2021).
4. Nutrition Assistance- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), U.S. DEP'T OF
AGRIc., https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program (last visited Nov.
16, 2021).
5. About    TANF,    OFF.    OF    FAM.    ASSISTANCE    (July    19,   2019),
6. Medicaid, MEDICAID.GOV, https://www.medicaid.gov/ (last visited Nov. 16, 2021).
HOUSEHOLDS:    2018    1   (2020),   https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/
publications/2020/demo/acsbr20-Ol .pdf.
8. May   2021  Medicaid  &   CHIP   Enrollment Data  Highlights, MEDICAID.GOV,
data/report-highlights/index.html (last visited Nov. 16, 2021).
9. Tom Mould, Life On Welfare Isn't What Most People Think It Is, THE CONVERSATION (June
11, 2020, 8:19 AM), https://theconversation.com/life-on-welfare-isnt-what-most-people-think-it-is-

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