Government and Industry Leaders Discuss the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Government and Industry Leaders Discuss the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Policymakers, business leaders and experts attended the POLITICO AI Summit a few weeks ago at The Liaison Hotel in Washington, DC, where they held solution-driven conversations on the impact of AI on governments, industries and society.

At the conference, I participated in a closed-door roundtable discussion on the governance of AI. The other participants and I explored standards and best practices to self-regulation and governance, the governing factors that currently shape AI development and progress, the gaps that must be addressed to ensure AI advances in a responsible and beneficial manner and dichotomies between governance practices in the public and private sectors.

One fascinating area that emerged during our conversation was the regionalization of AI. While many of us like to think of technologies that transcend boundaries, when it comes to AI, there may be regional consumer preferences and biases that show up in AI, making it difficult to export those technologies to other regions where consumer preferences are different. Said succinctly, not all AI is for everyone. One can imagine an AI system trained on Chinese consumer preferences to not fair very well with western consumers, and vice versa. This is an extremely interesting dilemma and one that merits years of research and development to truly understand and perfect.

Speakers from the day’s panel also discussed what American leaders across sectors and industries must do to navigate the competitive environments driving AI. The three biggest themes discussed during the summit included:

  • We are in the middle of an AI renaissance — and governments around the world have work to do. This year, the United States fell out of the top 10 in the 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index—the first time in the six years the index was compiled. Raising the stakes, several countries have published national AI strategies, some even setting target dates for achieving country-wide AI leadership.
  • The evolving workforce will happen — let’s plan now. Few doubt that global economies will undergo major restructuring as machine intelligence takes root across industries. This will lead to an increased need of labor but with different skills than we are used to now. The country that can adapt their programs for education, skill development and worker placement for new jobs will be best positioned to lead.
  • Ethical bias is a universal AI opportunity, and countries need to have a plan. In late September, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Tex., and Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill. of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Information Technology released a whitepaper exploring the many facets of AI and examining the tremendous promise and risks associated with the innovation. Leaders across private and public sectors need to work together to create a unified approach to innovative technology like AI so there can be base line rules for operation. There is global consensus that AI should be both beneficial and responsible and multinational organizations will need to emerge to help establish ethical standards for these amazing new technologies.

AI is here to stay — and Adobe commends government leaders who are continuing the AI conversation with thoughtful analysis on the technology that is going to change the way we work, create and live our lives. The United States is demonstrating to the world that we are taking AI expertise seriously with the introduction of the Artificial Intelligence in Government Act that would establish a federal AI advisory board to chart paths forward in the technology’s development. From new inventions to day-to-day tasks, the use of AI provides for limitless potential and represents the biggest potential innovator since the introduction of the internet.

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