The potential of AI is far from realised; however, its impact on our society is double-edged. The technology has substantial implications across workflows and industries, yet, it also raises legal, ethical and governance challenges.
Regulatory and legal frameworks, although still catching up with AI, are thoroughly changing the regulatory landscapes. Let's take a look at some of the recent changes in the US:
In October, 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) unveiled its Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights 1. The blueprint is a non-binding set of guidelines for the design, development, and deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. This comes a year after the Whitehouse announced its intent to develop a process to launch a “bill of rights” to guard against ‘powerful technologies created’. 2
The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Committee on AI identified AI as systems that think like humans, act like humans, think rationally, and systems that act rationally. Aside from this, the John S. McCain National Defence Authorization Act defines AI as including any artificial system performing tasks under varying and unpredictable circumstances without significant human oversight or that could learn from experience and improve performance when exposed to data sets 3. In Feb 2019, the Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence (AI Executive Order) defined the term ‘artificial intelligence’ to include: the application and adaptation of AI techniques; AI prototype systems; architectural and systems support for AI; R&D of core AI techniques and technologies; and cyber-infrastructure, data sets, and standards for AI (Federal Register, 2019, Sec. 9) 4.
In 2021, the government launched its National Artificial Intelligence Initiative (NAII) following Executive Order 13859 and the establishment of the AI Initiative with the Office of Management and Budget. Legislation and Executive Orders define the US national strategy on AI and Executive Order 13960 establishes principles for the use of AI at a governmental level, with a common policy for implementing the principles, directing agencies to catalog AI use cases, and coordinating AI implementation expertise at the agency level (Ai.gov, 2022) 5.
In February 2022, the Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2022 6 was introduced, requiring large tech companies to perform a bias impact assessment of any automated decision-making system capable of making critical decisions. In March 2022, the Department of Défense Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) Implementation Plan was signed enabling the Joint Forces to use automation, AI, predictive analytics, and ML to deliver informed solutions (Gibson Dunn, 2022) 7.
What does this mean for organizations?
In the past few years, around 60 countries have adopted AI policies in some form 8. Clearly, stricter, more defined regulations are on the horizon and companies adopting or creating AI systems should understand and prepare accordingly.
As the adoption of AI-based technologies increases, companies shall need to:
- Adopt responsible AI-based practices to deliver societal value and mitigate risk using ethical and transparent practices
- Create standards for evaluating bias in AI
- Document all processes to comply with regulators who may ask for more information
- Audit and review AI usage periodically
Responsible AI practices shall reinforce the belief that AI should always be human-centred, helping humans and society reach higher goals under the supervision of humans, ensuring fairness, and preventing uncontrolled bias.
You can refer to our whitepaper to get an overview on global regulatory and legal frameworks.
1. Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Blueprint-for-an-AI-Bill-of-Rights.pdf
2. Whitehouse announces intent to intent to develop a process to launch a “bill of rights: https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news-updates/2021/10/22/icymi-wired-opinion-americans-need-a-bill-of-rights-for-an-ai-powered-world/
3. John S. McCain National Defence Authorization Act: https://www.congress.gov/115/plaws/publ232/PLAW-115publ232.pdf
4. Federal Register, 2019, Sec. 9: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/02/14/2019-02544/maintaining-american-leadership-in-artificial-intelligence
5. National Artificial Intelligence Initiative (NAII): Ai.gov
6. Algorithmic Accountability Act: https://www.wyden.senate.gov/download/one-pager-bill-summary-of-the-algorithmic-accountability-act-of-2022
7. Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2): https://www.gibsondunn.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/artificial-intelligence-and-automated-systems-legal-update-1q22.pdf
8. Countries adopting AI policies: https://oecd.ai/en/dashboards