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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchAI, Society, and Governance: An Introduction

AI, Society, and Governance: An Introduction

Author: Peter Engelke

Affiliation: Atlantic Council

Organization/Publisher: Atlantic Council

Date/Place: April 22, 2020

Type of Literature: Policy Primer

Word Count: 12,286


Keywords: AI, Policymaking


As grounds are gained in the development of AI, policymakers now are trying to form concrete legal frameworks for this rapidly innovating field. The first threat from AI is that it might pose an existential threat to mankind one day but that is true for “general AI,” not “narrow AI” which is the one being developed currently. However, there are plans for general AI to be formed which is why governments want to create guidelines to preempt its harms. Guidelines have been issued by Google, Microsoft, Future of Life Institute, Japan, the state of California, OECD, the G20, and the EU for ethical usage of AI. The AI carries algorithmic biases based on its developers, and as yet cannot be fully relied on in the area of justice and equity. It threatens the domestic labor force which means countries will have to train more of its populations in STEM fields, something that is dependent on people’s finances. Data privacy is a concern which has yet to be resolved within the current framework, but the EU argues that greater privacy will actually benefit firms, a result yet unfounded. The development of “lethal autonomous weapons systems” (LAWS) is the most alarming use of AI. Within the anarchic global order, major world powers are intent on developing AI technology for military usage in order not to be bested by an opponent. Poorer countries are the ones in opposition to this race but until the powerful countries agree on some sort of collective regulation, this arena is bound to lead to unprecedented destruction. The benefits of AI are many but in the wake of human greed, they have a great probability of being misused and creating the dystopia we always feared.

By: Sahar Sadiq, CIGA Research Intern



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