The U.S. authorities will spend the next 60 days exploring and taking advice on future policy to regulate the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) as the technology becomes a bigger part of the economy and society.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and agency that advises the White House and is subordinate to the Department of Commerce, will look into the potential of audits, certifications, and other options in creating rules for AI.
“Just as food and cars are not released into the market without proper assurance of safety, so too AI systems should provide assurance to the public, government, and businesses that they are fit for purpose,” the agency said in a statement.
AI has in recent months taken the limelight in public conversation, as it demonstrates the convincing ability to code, hold conversations, and create high-quality photos and illustrations. ChatGPT, an interactive AI rolled out by OpenAI in November, has been used 1 billion times in February alone. It can code programs, craft articles, stories, and school essays, and hold conversations.
Alan Davidson, an NTIA administrator and the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, said on April 11 that companies and consumers must be able to trust “responsible AI systems.” This is possible “only if we address their potential consequences and harms.”
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The NTIA is looking for public feedback on how to built an “AI accountability ecosystem,” including what specific kinds of trust and safety testing developers should carry out while improving AI.
Concerns about AI range from partisan-ideological bias and inaccurate information to fears about mass replacement of human jobs and human worth, or even whether a super-advanced AI will allow humanity to exist at all.