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Monday 12 February 2018

How do you govern AI?

AIThe World Government Summit, an annual event held in Dubai, this weekend brought together leaders in government to debate governmental process and policies. The Summit has a particular focus on the issues of futurism and technology, so it should be no surprise that Artificial Intelligence (AI) had top billing.

world government summitAI poses a huge challenge for governments that they have been slow to grasp. How do you incentivise and facilitate R&D to ensure you get the most out of the upside of AI, whilst at the same time minimising the fallout from a reshaped workforce? Not to mention how do you deal with ethical issues posed by algorithms with built-in biases strengthened through machine learning?

The AI event in Dubai was organized by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and the UAE’s Minister for AI and really illustrates how difficult this is going to be. Attendees discussed the most immediate ways that AI can improves lives, who should govern AI, and how to navigate the difficult road ahead.

There was recognition that governments will find it impossible to stop technological and scientific progress and that over-regulation just moves the problem from one place to another. A potential solution was mooted for governments to incentivise research in areas providing the most benefit and least risk to society. Secondly that they must invest heavily in AI research to keep pace with the private sector and thus be better placed to deal with potential problems as and when they arise.

AI has the potential to reshape so many aspects of our lives and governments have been slow to get to grips with the potential consequences. Whilst predictably there were no concrete actions coming out of the Summit, recognition that governments are going to have to come together and that things will have to happen quickly should at least be seen as a step in the right direction.

Posted by Marc Hardwick at '09:03' - Tagged: government   AI  

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