The challenges of regulating artificial intelligence

The challenges of regulating artificial intelligence

technology By Jan 12, 2024 No Comments

The challenges of regulating Artificial Intelligence

In 1950, Alan Turing asked, “Can machines think?” More than 70 years later, advancements in Artificial Intelligence are creating exciting possibilities and questions about its potential pitfalls.

Addressing Safety and Security Concerns

A recent executive order issued by President Joe Biden seeks to establish “new standards for AI safety and security” while addressing consumer privacy concerns and promoting innovation.
Georgia Tech experts have examined the key elements of the order and offer their thoughts on its scope and what comes next.

Ensuring Safe Use of AI

The order calls for the development of standards, tools, and tests to ensure the safe use of AI. From voice scams and phishing campaigns to larger-scale threats, the technology’s potential dangers have been widely documented.
Margaret Kosal, associate professor in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, says that additional context is often needed to dispel hysteria.

Addressing Critical Threats

The order will create an AI Safety and Security Board tasked with addressing critical threats. Companies developing foundation models that “pose a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety” will be required to notify the federal government when training the model and required to share the results of all red-team safety tests—a simulated cyberattack to test a system’s defenses.

Evolving Threat Landscape

Since the launch of ChatGPT in 2022, a CNBC report details a 1,267% rise in phishing emails. Srijan Kumar, assistant professor in the College of Computing, attributes the increase to the technology’s availability and an inability to rein in “bad actors.” He says these scams will only continue to get more sophisticated and personalized.

Protecting privacy and Advancing Equity

Building an AI platform requires large amounts of data regardless of its intended application. Two primary goals of the executive order are protecting privacy and advancing equity. To protect personal data, the order tasks Congress with evaluating how agencies collect and use commercially available information and address algorithmic discrimination.

Ensuring Representation in AI Outputs

Acknowledging that everyone should be allowed to have their voice represented in the outputs of AI data sets, Deven Desai, associate professor in the Scheller College of Business, noted, “There are people who don’t want to be part of data sets, which is their right, but this means their voices won’t be reflected in the outputs.”

Addressing Intellectual Property Concerns

The order also includes sections to address intellectual property concerns among inventors and creators, though legal challenges will likely set new precedents in the years ahead. When that time comes, Kosal says that defining “theft” in the context of AI becomes the true challenge and that, ultimately, money will play a significant role.

Content Authentication and Watermarking

The order instructs the Department of Commerce to develop guidelines for content authentication and watermarking to label AI-generated content. Desai questions what it means for something to be truly created by AI. An important distinction lies between using AI to assist a writer in organizing their thoughts and using the technology to generate content.

Transparency and Reliability in Content Creation

As AI assistance becomes commonplace in content creation, trusting the source of information is increasingly important. Recently, articles published on Sports Illustrated’s website featured AI-generated content provided by a third-party company that had used a machine to write the content and create fake bylines. CEO Ross Levinsohn was ousted shortly after the story broke.

Assessing AI‘s Impact on Labor Markets

As AI systems and models become more sophisticated, workers may become more concerned about being replaced. Kumar compares the rise of AI to similar technological innovations throughout history and sees it as an opportunity for workers and industries to adapt.
The order calls for a study to examine AI‘s potential impact on labor markets and investments in workforce training efforts.

Promoting Fair Competition and Transparency

The power to harness the full potential of AI has initiated a race to the top. Desai believes that part of the executive order providing resources to smaller developers can help level the playing field.

Government Usage of AI

The issue of reliability and transparency comes into focus for Desai, especially as it relates to government usage of AI. When taxpayer dollars are at stake, government can’t afford to trust a technology it doesn’t fully understand—a topic Desai has explored elsewhere.

A Global Approach to AI Regulation

Promoting and policing the safe use of AI cannot be done independently. Georgia Tech experts agree that participation on a global scale is necessary. To that end, the European Union will unveil its comprehensive EU AI Act, which includes a similar framework to the president’s executive order.

Challenges and the Need for Ongoing policy Development

Due to the evolving nature of AI, the executive order or the EU’s actions will not be all-encompassing. Law often lags behind technology, but Kosal points out that it’s crucial to think beyond what currently exists when crafting policy. Experts also agree that AI cannot be regulated or governed through a single document and that this order is likely the first in a series of policymaking moves. Kosal sees tremendous opportunity with the innovation surrounding AI but hopes the growing fear of its rise does not usher in another AI winter, in which interest and research funding fade.

Source: phys

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