By John Loeppky, British-Canadian freelance writer.
With innovation changing the way of life and the way of doing business immeasurably in recent years, there are growing calls for regulation to oversee the pace of change in a controlled way. Artificial intelligence (AI), in particular, is an area that could most do well with structures to guide its development, although governments around the world have been slow to the punch, with the technology advancing exponentially in its capabilities.
In October, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a “blueprint” for an AI Bill of Rights. As the EU eyes its own AI legislation, and China moves towards further AI regulation, the American government has conceptualised a framework for AI practitioners to work towards. In its own words, it’s a white paper “intended to support the development of policies and practices that protect civil rights and promote democratic values in the building, deployment, and governance of automated systems”.
The AI Bill of Rights has no teeth – yet
Not all experts with skin in the game are convinced this is an ideal solution. The document lays out a wide range of principles – from data privacy and discrimination prevention to so-called “human alternatives” and a directive on “notice and explanation”. But industry leaders like Aible founder and CEO, and former Harvard senior fellow, Arijit Sengupta, are concerned. He says some interested parties – particularly in the media – have jumped too quickly to talk about enforcement before considering the real-world impacts of any framework if translated into formal regulation.