Despite its widespread lack of familiarity, AI is a technology that is transforming every walk of life. It is a wide-ranging tool that enables people to rethink how we integrate information, analyze data, and use the resulting insights to improve decisionmaking. Our hope through this comprehensive overview is to explain AI to an audience of policymakers, opinion leaders, and interested observers, and demonstrate how AI already is altering the world and raising important questions for society, the economy, and governance.
In this paper, we discuss novel applications in finance, national security, health care, criminal justice, transportation, and smart cities, and address issues such as data access problems, algorithmic bias, AI ethics and transparency, and legal liability for AI decisions. We contrast the regulatory approaches of the U.S. and European Union, and close by making a number of recommendations for getting the most out of AI while still protecting important human values.
In order to maximize AI benefits, we recommend nine steps for going forward:
- Encourage greater data access for researchers without compromising users’ personal privacy,
- invest more government funding in unclassified AI research,
- promote new models of digital education and AI workforce development so employees have the skills needed in the 21st-century economy,
- create a federal AI advisory committee to make policy recommendations,
- engage with state and local officials so they enact effective policies,
- regulate broad AI principles rather than specific algorithms,
- take bias complaints seriously so AI does not replicate historic injustice, unfairness, or discrimination in data or algorithms,
- maintain mechanisms for human oversight and control, and
- penalize malicious AI behavior and promote cybersecurity.