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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Regulation of AI: Not If But When and How

Ben Loewenstein
Originally published November 21, 2017

Here is an excerpt:

Firstly, AI is already embedded in today’s world, albeit in infant form. Fully autonomous vehicles are not for sale yet but self-parking cars have been in the market for years. We already rely on biometric technology like facial recognition to grant us entry into a country and robots are giving us banking advice.

Secondly, there is broad consensus that controls are needed. For example, a report issued last December by the office of former US President Barack Obama concluded that “aggressive policy action” would be required in the event of large job losses due to automation to ensure it delivers prosperity. If the American Government is no longer a credible source of accurate information for you, take the word of heavyweights like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, both of whom have called for AI to be regulated.

Finally, the building blocks of AI regulation are already looming in the form of rules like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which will take effect next year. The UK government’s independent review’s recommendations are also likely to become government policy. This means that we could see a regime established where firms within the same sector share data with each other under prescribed governance structures in an effort to curb the monopolies big tech companies currently enjoy on consumer information.

The latter characterises the threat facing the AI industry: the prospect of lawmakers making bold decisions that alter the trajectory of innovation. This is not an exaggeration.

The article is here.