I. Legal and governance implications of AI
(RFI question 1)

Last updated July 28, 2016

Responsibility must be the foundation for AI policymaking. Inclusive dialogues can explore relevant topics, going beyond the headlines and hype, promoting deeper understanding and a new skills focus. Every transformative tool that people have created – from the steam engine to the microprocessor – augment human capabilities and enable people to dream bigger and do more. People with these tools will solve whole new classes of big data problems. Our responsibility as members of the global community is to ensure, to the best of our ability, that AI is developed the right way and for the right reasons.

For example, cognitive systems are being designed to boost the creativity and productivity of scientists and researchers to make new discoveries. As with these beneficial developments, society’s guiding principle should be to approach cognitive computing with appropriate checks and balances that encourage responsible innovations, reaping the benefits while protecting society. Right now, policymakers can take these concrete steps and seize the opportunities at hand.

Elevate The Dialogue: The business and societal impact of cognitive systems is large and growing, and taking responsibility must be the foundation of dialogue leading to a policy agenda. Topics include:

* Algorithmic Responsibility – establishing practices and protocols to build understanding and trust in the construction and workings of fundamental algorithms in software code, while preserving proprietary and confidential business information.

* Individual Privacy – establishing strong, sensible protections for individual privacy.

* Jobs and Workforce Transformation – new job creation, and workers with skills to fill them.

* Safety – protecting decision making based on morals and ethics, and establishing controlling principles for autonomous systems.

Learn Beyond the Headlines: Given the hype around AI, papers such as the one published recently by ITIF can be a tremendous resource for policymakers looking to understand the reality of the technology, how it is progressing, how it is being applied and how social concerns have been recognized and can be addressed.

Focus on Skills: We must educate and train people with the high-tech skills that will be required in a new era of data intense jobs. Today’s education systems are fundamentally misaligned from the needs of the labor market, and society needs refreshed curriculum and career training programs to fill the new and better paying jobs that will become available as a result of advances in cognitive systems.

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