Despite most people being unaware of it, artificial intelligence (AI) surrounds us every day. Siri on your phone, online shopping showing you items that it has learned that you’ll want, social media advertisements based on your online habits, automatic lane assist in your car, and so much more.
Even less obvious, and more dangerous, are the AI systems that decide who is approved for a home loan, who is offered a job, who receives the best health care, and who receives bail versus being held in jail.
Since this technology is so widespread and invasive in our lives, we assume that it’s heavily legislated and regulated, right? Definitely not.
While I applaud the U.S. desire to create an environment where we are the global AI innovation leader, as this is necessary for national competitiveness and security, it is past time for specific legislative and regulatory action to ensure that this critical technology well serves humanity.
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A strong starting place would be to craft legislation that embeds expectations, across all human-impacting systems, that ensure fair and equitable outcomes. Currently, there’s so much debate about explaining how the systems work, that progress is languishing in protecting people from harm today.
While that valuable debate continues, let’s start with setting the stage with legal and auditable expectations, and associated penalties for failure to comply. Then, the onus will be on those financially benefiting from this powerful technology to ensure that they are creating “fair” outcomes for everyone.
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