Governments Must Make Sure Artificial Intelligence Benefits Everyone

Governments have a crucial role in ensuring artificial intelligence benefits everyone

Governments Must Make Sure Artificial Intelligence Benefits Everyone


Artificial intelligence is rapidly moving out of the laboratory and into our daily lives. It has already made possible many things we now take for granted, including speech recognition, web searches, and in-car navigation systems. Soon, the incredible advances in software and the hardware needed to process all of the data that’s being generated will turn many other things that used to seem like science fiction into reality. The impact on society is—and will be—immense, so it’s important that public policy keeps pace with these developments.

There is no commonly accepted definition for artificial intelligence, but at Intel, we see it as a computerized system that performs tasks which traditionally have been associated with people. Narrow AI, which addresses a specific task or set of tasks such as helping radiologists evaluate X-ray scans or content delivery platforms recommend new movies or shows to watch, is the most common form of AI in use today. General AI, where a computerized system can portray human-like intelligence across a multitude of tasks, is still years away. This gives governments a brief breathing space to implement policies that will foster AI innovation and acceptance while at the same time mitigating its unintended societal consequences.

Finally, governments should require accountability for ethical design and implementation of artificial intelligence. Trust in AI requires organizations to demonstrate that the technology is designed, implemented and operated responsibly. While AI algorithms have the potential to make less-biased decisions than people, this is only possible if deliberate or unintended biases are not part of their design. The Canadian government is leading by example with its Algorithmic Impact Assessment framework that all departments must complete to minimize risks associated with Automated Decision-Making Systems.