Jul 14, 2017 - Economy

The political minefield of AI regulation

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Congress is turning its attention to artificial intelligence, as evidenced by Senator Maria Cantwell's proposed legislation to create an AI advisory committee, which "would serve as a first step in establishing federal policy in an increasingly important sphere," as as Axios' David McCabe puts it.

The news has some AI advocates like Kriti Sharma of Sage Group excited that the federal government can be an edifying force in the development of AI, but there's ample reason to be skeptical of this idea.

The ethics of AI must be taken seriously, as it's been demonstrated that AI has the potential to reinforce racism and sexism and potentially violate rights like privacy and due process. But given the fact that AI ethics is inextricably linked to ideas like implicit bias against racial minorities, which are highly controversial, it's difficult to see how any body assembled by the two major parties could come to many useful agreements on how society should approach the advancement of AI science.

Does AI create of kill jobs? Here's another question that the two parties aren't likely to agree on. Expect the two parties to gravitate towards analyses AI's economic impact that confirm their preconceived notions of the government's proper role in the economy.

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