White House Publishes A Blueprint For AI Bill of Rights

in LeoFinance8 months ago


We live in an age of rapid growth in computer technologies. Our daily lives are dependent on various kinds of technologies. For the most part technology has brought many benefits for humanity. It has made our work more productive, brought out our creativity and imaginations to life, improved our lives in many ways. Technology can be found in any field and industry. Be it education, medicine, agriculture, space travel, etc. Just like many things humans invent, computer technologies have also not so beneficial side effects. Computer tech has become a norm for years not if not decades. Today one of the most interesting and attractive topics in the next step of innovations is automation, machine learning, and AI. Bots are everywhere but not all bots are very useful.

In a social and political levels the topic of AI and use of these sophisticated technologies often discussed within the context of human rights. In a governmental level, there is no doubt any sophisticated technology would always have a possibility of abuse, a kind of abuse that would infringe upon the rights of its citizenry and beyond. This can be seen with the practices of collecting data with permission and digital surveillance. Countries with more authoritarian tendencies can utilize such technologies to strengthen their control and influence over people. For such use cases it would be a good idea to have a legal framework and boundaries of utilization of the technology.

Today White House released a Blueprint for AI Bill of Rights. However, it is not about how governments use the AI technologies, but rather its focus is on use and development of AI tech in the private sector. This blueprint consists of five principles that should serve as a guide in building and implementing automation and AI. While it is not a law and doesn't have any enforcement mechanisms, it seems to be a collection of ideas and recommendations to those who are heavily involved in building AI and automation tech that play bigger role in the lives of people.

What is the Blueprint for AI Bill of Rights?

The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights is a set of five principles and associated practices to help guide the design, use, and deployment of automated systems to protect the rights of the American public in the age of artificial intelligence. Developed through extensive consultation with the American public, these principles are a blueprint for building and deploying automated systems that are aligned with democratic values and protect civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy.

Following are the five principles of this blueprint:

  • Safe and Effective Systems
  • Algorithmic Discrimination Protections
  • Data Privacy
  • Notice and Explanation
  • Human Alternatives, Consideration, and Fallback

It seems like the primary focus of this framework is address the issues of algorithmic bias and discriminations. These principles sound interesting. This is a good cause and solutions definitely be worked on. But these measures are not comprehensive and fall short of addressing other potential and more obvious harms that powerful AI systems may have, which is giving too much power to few entities like big tech giants.

Technology gives an edge for companies to compete in the free market with their innovation, products and services. Nothing wrong with keeping such tech secret and having proprietary rights over them. However, if the same approach is applied to the AI technologies, there can be harm to free market itself. With AI technologies, companies no longer only have some short term edge in a competition. The scale of automation and amount of data hoarded and processed gives more than an edge. This gives too much power to few companies who may or may not use this advantage against the benefits of people including their customers.

Microsoft has built a network of workplace computing and they too are very ambitious in developing AI technology. Such ambitions with the access to big network of work place and business activities data, they have a potential of gaining a power that no compony ever had. Apple and Google dominate mobile computing and able to hoard all kinds of data. They also are software companies that are obsessed with AI. Facebook not only has access to enormous amount of social data and AI tech, but they don't even hide how they utilize them and it's been clear by now many of their actions aren't done for the love of people and their privacy.

If White House is serious about harms that may be caused by AI tech, they should add Open Source and Transparency to the list of their blueprint principles. By having the code open source would automatically add a layer of transparency, which would make it possible for developers from around the world review and identifies problems. It would also prevent any one or few entities accumulating too much power, and instead make these companies focus on delivering better products that respect privacy, increase productivity, and add more value to the lives of people. By having all AI ambitious code open source, no company would have to worry about competition in who can accumulate more power. It can actually ensure free competition in a truly free market. Implementing a transparency principle would force companies to disclose AI ambitions and developments, and keep them honest and accountable.

It is unlikely White House would be interested in open source and transparency, as close relationship with the big tech and cooperating for mutually beneficial outcomes is normally how these things play out. Big tech pays big money and shares some tech, big politics work out more favorable "solutions". At the same time it may be a better approach for the government just to stay away from private sector, and focus on things they can accomplish. First thing that came to my mind when I saw this announcement, was the Robocalls. What don't they fix the Robocalls problem first? - was my reaction. After googling robocalls I saw something interesting. There were several articles from yesterdays about a news that FCC made ultimatum to voice service providers to fix the robocalls problem. Is this a coincidence or is White House is actually serious about their fight about robots?

Of course there are many benefits of automation, machine learning and AI. I love automation. Be it a small script that takes care of repetitive tasks in seconds, or bigger solutions that make production of goods and services more efficient. Automation and AI can actually help government in improving how they conduct their business. For example, IRS can benefit with improving their system and getting rid of a need for people to file their taxes for something IRS already has information about. So much time, money and effort is wasted with this tax system. I am sure automation and AI can make this system work thousand times better.

Artificial Intelligence is not going anywhere. This technology is in its early stages and will probably become one of the highest achievements in this century. Combining AI with robotics, there is so much potential to solve so many problems. We could potentially come up with solutions for wildfires, hurricanes, garbage in the oceans, etc. The question is how are we really going to use the technology.

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Reminds me of the three laws from will smith’s movie iRobot.

I have to be honest; just had a delicious moment with your post. Came across is with 999 upvotes; so of course I took it to the even 1000 with a 100% upvote ;)

How's that for some symmetry?

If White House is serious about harms that may be caused by AI tech, they should add Open Source and Transparency to the list of their blueprint principles.

I am not surprised. Remember that a lot of private companies (i.e. money) are involved... They do not want their product to be dissected. It is not a good practice of course (which is also why I decided to work in the public sector), but I am afraid there is nothing to be done. At least, I do not see how a paradigm shift could be implemented.

I agree, there is not much that can be done. Anything we could do, may end up being a wrong decision.

Totally :/

I love automation too and also love learning more about AI technology. White house showing seriousness about it that mean's the technology will get more government support, indeed its a good sign. Producing more artificial intelligence as robot to ease human life is really great that I like always. Thanks mam for the update news.

These are scary moves for me. I understand they need to have the rapid evolving tech under constraint, but on the other hand this is slowly implementing AI, surveillance, etc. into our lives. Or maybe I am just patriot of good ol' times?

Technology is unstoppable. I guess the only thing that can stop technology is another technology. But I do share the sentiment. Usually the problem is using the tech for wrong purposes, and we are plenty capable of doing that. And that is worrying.

Thank you for this prompt discussion of the new policy. It is kinda exciting to me as one who works in the IS field. I look forward to seeing how the tech industry may respond to this.

Safe and Effective Systems

This is indeed what white house needs safe and Effective Systems with a strong data privacy. Thanks so much for sharing

My eyes seeked for Open Source in the blueprint list. I think data privacy is something like a battle among the companies you mentioned above. We may guess how they use our data.

I agree that AI is a great techonology as long as it is used for the benefit of humankind.

I agree with the open source and transparency feature but I don't think the government wants that to happen. After all, they prefer to have control over the bias and accept the ones that fits their narrative.

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not all bots are very useful

That's been apparent to me since I met my first spambot 😂

What is the Blueprint for AI Bill of Rights?
The Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights is a set of five principles and associated practices to help guide the design, use, and deployment of automated systems to protect the rights of the American public in the age of artificial intelligence.

When I first saw that I thought it meant that the AI has rights.

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I had the same first reaction.

I don't know where we are going with the advancement of AI. Many jobs will become obsolete because of this technology.

There will also be new jobs, perhaps better.

That's not good. I sometimes think they are doing surveillance on everything !

Yes, there is always some sort of surveillance.

There may not be complete open source when AI is monitoring all activities, the negative side is looming.

On our way to living in real life I robot

This is an evolve a smart move if you ask me @geekgirl but most people might think it is a wrong move more like it is petrifying, What do you advice does who think it's petrifying.

Gotta be careful. When I first saw this in the news, I wondered: Are these rights for us, or for them? :)

But I have to say its an exciting time to be around and I don't know how I could get along without the advances in technology which helps to keep the world turning.

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One day we will probably discussing robot rights too. lol

Robots are people too. lol!

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I’ve heard AI is getting better really fast. While I look forward to how they can improve the daily lives of citizens around the world, it is hard not to imagine how the government will use it further oppress people or further their own self-beneficial aims. As you said, using AI and robotics to clean the environment and help it heal in ways people could not would be great.

I agree with adding open source and transperancy to that.. 😎👍

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I guess we should all be really glad that we elected this White House person to lead our country. What screamed out at me as I read was WH's concern for us and that the AI systems will surely be safe and effective. Statistics are now rewriting the definition of those two words.

I am sorry for my cynicism regarding Mr. White House and his plans to fix yet another thing. Most of what he puts out has been ruled "unconstitutional" and, as with his sniffing habits, he is a repeat offender.

Your post is very well written and the topic has needed some serious consideration for many years already. We are truly in the wild west regarding new technologies across the board. Safety has taken a back seat to profits and control.

Interesting that defining the uses of AI and limiting the way this may be used to keep people safe has not even been mentioned.

Even after a situation like "The Great Hack".

Which just makes me trust government even less, quite frankly. They seem to do just enough to make people think they are on top of things and actually care (anti discrimination is a very nice political play), yet they say nothing about tech like this not being used for nefarious purposes - such as propaganda or manipulation of the media and people themselves.

I totally agree with your statement:

they should add Open Source and Transparency

In fact... they should also add that there should be an index by every tech company working with data collection of all names and what data for what areas has been collected - this should also be made available to all citizens of the planet to access and to request that they and all their data be removed from the index / list.

that is damn true, love to read it.

Great post

The White House should be doing more to work with Congress to create clear legislation to implement the blueprint.

This is a huge and very interesting world. That’s why I’ll start my studies in Computer Sciences on February. Technology is not only the future, it’s already the present.

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