Artificial intelligence is here, and it’s impacting our lives in real ways — whether it’s the Alexa smart speaker on our nightstand, online customer service chatbots, or the smart replies Google drafts for our emails.
But so far, the tech’s development has outpaced regulation. Now, government agencies are increasingly encountering AI-based tools, and they must figure out how to evaluate them. Take the Food and Drug Administration, which greenlights new medical products: It needs to review and approve new health care products that boast AI-capabilities — like this one that promises to detect eye problems related to diabetes — before they’re sold to us. Or consider the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which investigates employment discrimination. Today, the agency must also make decisions about AI-based hiring algorithms, like those that screen job candidates’ resumes and decide whether or not you deserve an interview.
On Wednesday at CES, the prominent Las Vegas-based technology trade show, White House officials formally announced how the Office of Science and Technology wants federal agencies to approach regulating new artificial intelligence-based tools and the industries that develop the tech.
The White House’s proposed AI guidance discusses some of the biggest concerns technologists, AI ethicists, and even some government officials have about the technology, but the guidelines are centered most on encouraging innovation in artificial intelligence and making sure regulations don’t “needlessly” get in the way.