America Needs to 'Get It Right' on Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial intelligence has been a hot topic in Washington.

Most lawmakers agree that it poses significant risks if left unregulated, yet there is a lack of consensus on how to address these concerns. But speaking in a TIME100 conversation Friday before the White House Correspondents' Dinner, a panel of experts with backgrounds in government, national security and social justice expressed hope that the U.S. government will finally “get it right.” will take” so that the society can benefit. Benefits of AI while protecting against potential threats.

“We can't afford to get this wrong again,” Shalinda Young, director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Biden administration, told senior White House correspondent Brian Bennett. “The government was already behind the tech boom. Can you imagine if the government is the consumer of AI and we get it wrong?

Read more: A call to embrace AI — but with a 'human touch'

Panelists agreed that government action is needed to ensure the United States remains at the forefront of safe AI innovation. But the rapidly evolving field has raised many concerns that cannot be ignored, he noted, from civil rights to national security. “Code code is starting to be written and it's hurting people, especially vulnerable communities,” says Van Jones, a CNN host and social entrepreneur who founded Dream Machine, a nonprofit Bakhsh, which fights against overcrowded prisons and poverty. . “If you have biased data, you're going to make biased decisions by algorithms. That's the big fear.”

The U.S. government may not have the best track record of keeping up with emerging technologies, but as AI becomes increasingly ubiquitous, Young says the understanding, regulation and ethics of AI among lawmakers is changing. There is growing recognition of the need to prioritize governance.

Michael Allen, managing director of Beacon Global Strategies and former director of the National Security Council for President George W. Bush, suggested that to overcome the lack of confidence in the use of artificial intelligence, the government needs to ensure that humans I am at the forefront. Every decision-making process that involves technology—especially when it comes to national security. “Having a human in the loop ultimately makes the most sense,” he says.

Asked how Republicans and Democrats in Washington can talk to each other about how to deal with the problems and opportunities presented by AI, Young says that science and technology policy in recent years has already been a There has been bipartisan change—from President Biden's signature CHIPS and SCIENCE Act to funding. National Science Foundation. The common thread behind this resurgence in bipartisan support, she says, is a strong anti-China movement in Congress.

“There's a big focus on China in the U.S. Congress,” Young says. “But you can't focus on China and just talk about the military. You have to talk about aspects of our economic and scientific competition.” These things have created an environment that has given us an opportunity for bilateral relations.

Allen noted that in this era of geopolitical competition with China, the US government needs to be at the forefront of artificial intelligence. He compared the current moment to the Nuclear Age, when the US government funded nuclear research. “Here in this new environment, it's the private sector that's the primary engine of all modern technologies,” Allen says. “The conventional wisdom is that the U.S. is in the lead, we're still ahead of China. But I think that's something that when you start looking at regulation, how can we make sure that the United States has artificial intelligence? I have been at the forefront because our opponents are going to come down on it.

Congress hasn't passed any major AI legislation yet, but that hasn't stopped the White House from taking action. President Joe Biden signed an executive order to set guidelines for tech companies that train and test AI models, as well as direct government agencies to prepare future plans for potential national security threats. Test AI products. Asked how soon Americans can expect more checkpoints on AI, Young noted that some in Congress are pushing to create a new, independent federal agency that would allow lawmakers to oversee AI without a political lens. Can help inform, offer assistance in legislative solutions.

“If we don't get that right,” says Young, “how can we trust the government?”

TIME100 Talks: Responsible AI: Innovating and Securing the Future Presented by

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