Embracing AI

2 min read

A review of the legal and policy considerations that will shape the development of artificial intelligence.

After decades of promise and false starts, the right combination of computer processing power, data availability and engineering methods has produced a sudden surge of progress in the development of artificial intelligence (AI). Twenty years after Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer, defeated world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, AI is no longer relegated to the world of proofs of concept and marketing curiosities.

Information technology companies are now spending billions of dollars a year to build large-scale, operational AI systems with applications and implications for almost every industry. The public is generally unaware of how rapidly AI has been adopted in only the past three years. To highlight the surprising breadth of already in-use applications, this article presents a cross-industry survey of AI.

The current and future benefits of AI are immense, but as people begin to realize how pervasive AI is becoming, there is the potential for misunderstanding, distrust and even fear of the technology. It is reasonable to consider the issues that will arise as AI interacts with and even changes society. Interestingly, despite the fact that it is (and will be) used in a range of diverse and unrelated industries, the concerns raised by AI tend to be the same: transparency, accountability, privacy, security and sustainability.

Policymakers and the legal system should anticipate that AI will soon raise novel issues and begin to prepare thoughtful, forward- looking and deliberative responses. Otherwise, the time will soon come when the rapid development of the technology will force hasty decisions that either inadequately address the underlying issues, stifle innovation or create additional issues and concerns. Accordingly, after the survey of AI uses and the discussion of common concerns, this article concludes with suggested principles for AI governance that should allow the technology to flourish while addressing legitimate concerns with its use.


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