July 20, 2021
Artificial intelligence (AI), broadly defined to include the wide range of statistical methods and computational technologies that enable systems to learn, respond, make decisions and take actions with increasing autonomy, is rapidly becoming an enabler of growth, and a potential game changer, for almost every global industry.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office reports that as of 2018, fully 25% of all U.S. inventors were using AI technologies in their granted patents. While the potential for the United States in harnessing its AI talent, computing capacity, and private-sector-driven innovation is enormous, AI also brings a unique set of challenges that should be addressed so that concerns over its risks do not dampen innovation, and to help ensure the United States can lead globally in the ethical development of AI-based systems, sometimes called “responsible” or “trustworthy” AI.
Benefits to consumers
Respondents to the survey indicated that consumer trust in AI systems could increase as consumers saw personal benefit from adoption of AI technologies, whether as users of AI-enabled systems or as customers of new products and services generated or accelerated by AI:
Clarity and Innovation
- 71%believed that consumers would see benefits from the ability of AI to identify patterns or anomalies in complex and diverse data sets.
- 65%noted that consumers would gain confidence in AI as the pace of the discovery of new medicines, materials and other technologies accelerated.
Productivity, Speed and Accuracy
- 56%indicated that consumers would gain trust in AIs that increased their productivity or helped them eliminate low-value tasks.
- 56%suggested that consumers would see benefit from AI technologies that helped them improve the speed and accuracy of their decision-making.
Building trust and confidence on the part of businesses, their customers, their employees, and the public that AI adoption will lead to a positive impact on the economy and society can accelerate the social and economic benefits that can come from AI and maintain global competitiveness in this critical technology.
A potential key to the execution of this approach is U.S. government leadership through public investments and common-sense policies that balance a culture of growth and innovation and ensure that AI applications are developed and deployed in compliance with existing laws and in consideration of social, ethical, safety, security, and privacy concerns.
Benefits to workers
Similarly, respondents indicated that workers could become more confident in using and working alongside AI as they saw it improve their day-to-day work experience, safety, and professional opportunities:
New occupations and higher wages
- 69%saw the creation of new types of work, especially higher-value occupations focused on creating, managing, and maintaining AI systems.
- 52%suggested workers might see increased wages or improved working conditions associated with higher-value work made available by AI systems.
Safety and Automation
- 62%highlighted improved safety on job sites or in transit due to AI monitoring or control of equipment and vehicles.
- 55%noted the reduction of low-value pr repetitive work due to AI-enabled automation.
Review of current research, consideration of the perspective of leading voices in government and industry, and the results of a survey conducted among participants with roles in AI innovation supports the position that public policies to bolster AI innovation can provide lasting economic and social benefits for U.S. citizens and companies.
Building a thriving and sustainable AI-enabled economy will likely require sensible policy solutions to encourage innovators to embed concepts of trustworthy AI in the development and deployment of AI systems.
A trustworthy AI approach can mitigate risks that might otherwise reduce confidence in AI systems and stifle innovation in this critical sector while focusing investment on beneficial applications of AI that can lead to economic growth and improved health, safety, and well-being for Americans.