Public Knowledge Releases Paper Calling for New Artificial Intelligence Authority

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Today, we’re happy to announce our newest white paper, “The Inevitability of AI Law & Policy: Preparing Government for the Era of Autonomous Machines,” by Public Knowledge General Counsel Ryan Clough. The paper argues that the rapid and pervasive rise of artificial intelligence risks exploiting the most marginalized and vulnerable in our society. To mitigate these harms, Clough advocates for a new federal authority to help the U.S. government implement fair and equitable AI. Such an authority should provide the rest of the government with the expertise and experience needed to achieve five goals crucial to building ethical AI systems:

  • Boosting sector-specific regulators and confronting overarching policy challenges raised by AI;
  • Protecting public values in government procurement and implementation of AI;
  • Attracting AI practitioners to civil service, and building durable and centralized AI expertise within government;
  • Identifying major gaps in the laws and regulatory frameworks that govern AI; and
  • Coordinating strategies and priorities for international AI governance.

“Any individual can be misjudged and mistreated by artificial intelligence,” Clough explains, “but the record to date indicates that it is significantly more likely to happen to the less powerful, who also have less recourse to do anything about it.” The paper argues that a new federal authority is the best way to meet the profound and novel challenges AI poses for us all.

The following can be attributed to Ryan Clough, General Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“As artificial intelligence begins to transform our daily lives, it is critical to build an accountability structure that enables the marketplace to harness the vast promises of this technology, while also empowering the public, safeguarding our autonomy and fundamental rights, and protecting against discriminatory mistreatment of historically-vulnerable groups. By establishing an expert authority that coordinates federal engagement on behalf of citizens, we can begin to build public confidence in this technology and its enormous potential benefits, without opening the door to systematic disempowerment and exploitation.”

You may view the paper here. This report was made possible by the generous support of the Nielsen Foundation.

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