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The U.S. can improve its AI governance strategy by addressing online biases

The United States has been working to codify the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Initiative that focuses on six strategic pillars: improving AI innovation, advancing trustworthy AI, creating new education and training opportunities through AI, improving existing infrastructure through new technologies, facilitating federal and private sector utilization of AI to improve existing systems, and promoting an international environment that supports further advances in AI. In April 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Institute on Standards (NIST) announced members of the inaugural National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee (NAIAC), which will be tasked with advising the Biden administration on how to proceed with national AI governance efforts. At their first meeting on May 4, 2022, the NAIAC discussed the use of AI pertaining to U.S. competitiveness, issues related to workforce, and whether there is adequate national oversight of AI systems. Taken together, the objectives of the national AI initiative and the creation of the NAIAC will ensure strategic and timely approaches to the design and deployment of autonomous systems, as well as further establish national norms.

Of equal importance is that the technology needs to be improved for domestic use cases as part of this national effort, especially in areas with the potential to create either differential treatment or disparate impact for federally protected and other vulnerable populations. If the U.S. excludes such considerations from national governance discussions, historic and systemic inequalities will be perpetuated, limiting the integration of the needs and lived experiences of certain groups into emerging AI innovations. Poor or inadequate decisions around financial services and creditworthiness, hiring, criminal justice, health care, education, and other scenarios that predict social and economic mobilities stifle inclusion and undercut democratic values such as equity and fairness. These and other potential harms must be paired with pragmatic solutions, starting with a comprehensive and universal definition of bias, or the specific harm being addressed. Further, the process must include solutions for legible and enforceable frameworks that bring equity into the design, execution, and auditing of computational models to thwart historical and present-day discrimination and other predatory outcomes.

The original article was posted at the Brookings Institute.

The Boston Global Forum (BGF), in collaboration with the United Nations Centennial Initiative, released a major work entitled Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment.   More than twenty distinguished leaders, scholars, analysts, and thinkers put forth unprecedented approaches to the challenges before us. These include President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Governor Michael Dukakis, Father of Internet Vint Cerf, Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Harvard University Professors Joseph Nye and Thomas Patterson, MIT Professors Nazli Choucri and Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, and Vice President of European Parliament Eva Kaili.  The BGF introduced core concepts shaping pathbreaking international initiatives, notably, the Social Contract for the AI Age, an AI International Accord, the Global Alliance for Digital Governance, the AI World Society (AIWS) Ecosystem, and AIWS City.