Editorial

US lawmakers try to get ‘AI in government’ law on the American statute book

Proposals would ensures that ‘our government understands the benefits and pitfalls of this technology as it engages in a responsible, accountable rollout of AI’

Posted 18 October 2018 by

A proposed US ‘AI in Government Act 2018‘ would seek to both foster bigger official support for Artificial Intelligence at the Federal level, while also highlighting areas of potential future concern.

Under the Act – a bi-partisan initiative – some of Uncle Sam’s executive agencies would be tasked to specifically research and consider AI applications and strategy, as well as create an advisory board to address AI policy and issues, including:

The Bill’s sponsors cited both the promises and risks of AI as significant motivations for their proposed legislation, noting that, “[AI] will have significant impacts for our country, economy, and society [so] ensuring that our government has the capabilities and expertise to help navigate those impacts will be important in the coming years and decades.

“[This] legislation [ensures that] our government understands the benefits and pitfalls of this technology as it engages in a responsible, accountable rollout of AI.”

The work is the American equivalent of a Private Member’s Bill, so may not progress that much – but does, in the words of The National Law Review, recognise “AI’s simultaneous promises and challenges for future policymakers” and could represent “a notable step towards government adoption of AI” in America.