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  • Robert Stines

Scholars petition government on artificial intelligence

On July 4, several technical experts, legal scholars, and affiliated organizations formally requested that the Office of Science and Technology Policy (“OSTP”) solicit public comments so as to encourage meaningful public participation in the development of the nation’s policy for artificial intelligence.


According to the petition, on May 10, 2018, the White House held a summit on “Artificial Intelligence for American Industry.” According to the OSTP summary report, the participants discussed the promise of artificial intelligence and the policies we will need to realize that promise for the American people and maintain U.S leadership in the age of artificial intelligence.


In the petition, some of the points of concern were whether the development of AI was for the purpose of developing autonomous weapons systems and whether there was a need to use personal data that was subject to Privacy Act protections.


The petition noted that AI has the potential to improve our society, but only if proper policies are in place to provide the guidance needed to address the potential risks that accompany the potential benefits.


The petition urged the OSTP to issue a Request for Information to seek comments from the public and to incorporate the concerns and opinions of those whose lives will inevitably by impacted by the growing use of AI technologies.


Some of the AI issues to consider, include but are not limited to:

  • What potential harms arise from the use of AI and how are these risks currently addressed

  • What are the legal frameworks currently governing AI, and are they adequate?

  • How could companies and government agencies be more transparent in the use of AI?

  • What technical measures could promote the benefits of AI while minimizing the risks?

  • What experience have other countries had trying to address the challenges of AI?

  • What future trends concerning AI could inform the current discussion?

Obviously, these are valid concerns that the Government should consider with the inevitable implementation of AI.


A copy of the petition can be found here.


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