The White House very recently announced a new series of workshops and an inter-agency working group to learn more about the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence.
Of course, there has been a lot of excitement in the last 18 months about AI and how to create computers capable of intelligent behaviour. After years of steady but slow progress on making computers “smarter” at everyday tasks, a series of breakthroughs in the research community and industry have recently spurred momentum and investment in the development of this field.
As such, the Federal Government are now seeing the tremendous opportunities that AI presents, as well as array of considerations to be taken into account across privacy, security, regulation, law, and research and development when effectively integrating this technology into both government and private-sector activities.
It is for these reasons that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has announced that it will co-host four public workshops over the coming months on topics in AI to spur public dialogue on artificial intelligence and machine learning and identify challenges and opportunities related to this emerging technology. These four workshops will be co-hosted by academic and non-profit organizations, and two of them will also be co-hosted by the National Economic Council. These workshops will feed into the development of a public report later this year. The White House are inviting anyone interested to learn more about this emergent field of technology and give input about future directions and areas of challenge and opportunity.
More can be found about these events at the following links (and each workshop will be live streamed):
- May 24, 2016: Legal and Governance Implications of Artificial Intelligence in Seattle, WA
- June 7, 2016: Artificial Intelligence for Social Good in Washington, DC
- June 28, 2016: Safety and Control for Artificial Intelligence in Pittsburgh, PA
- July 7: The Social and Economic Implications of Artificial Intelligence Technologies in the Near-Term in New York City
The Federal Government also is working to leverage AI for public good and toward a more effective government. A new National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence met for the first time in early May. This group will monitor state-of-the-art advances and technology milestones in artificial intelligence and machine learning within the Federal Government, in the private sector, and internationally; and help coordinate Federal activity in this space.
Broadly, between now and the end of the Administration, the NSTC group will work to increase the use of AI and machine learning to improve the delivery of government services. Such efforts may include empowering Federal departments and agencies to run pilot projects evaluating new AI-driven approaches and government investment in research on how to use AI to make government services more effective. Applications in AI to areas of government that are not traditionally technology-focused are especially significant; the US government are evidently seeing the huge potential in AI-driven improvements to programs and delivery of services that help make everyday life better for Americans in a range of areas, including urban systems and smart cities, mental and physical health, social welfare, criminal justice, the environment, and much more.
Feature image credit: Flickr