The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Artificial Intelligence Commission on Competitiveness, Inclusion, and Innovation today released a comprehensive report on the promise of Artificial Intelligence, while calling for a risk-based regulatory framework that will allow for its responsible and ethical deployment.
“AI is a transformational technology that we are just starting to realize its potential. While there are some risks that need to be managed, AI promises to boost economic opportunity and incomes, accelerate advancement in health outcomes and quality of life, and usher in yet another era of technology innovation that will spawn companies, industries, and jobs not yet imagined,” said Chamber President and CEO Suzanne P. Clark. “For over a year, the Chamber’s Commission has been working on developing policy recommendations and industry best practices that provide policymakers and business leaders a roadmap to optimize its many benefits and protect against harms.”
The report, which is being unveiled at an event hosted at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters today, March 9th at 9:30AM, comes at a time when AI is projected to increase global economic growth by $13 trillion by the end of the decade. AI is helping address nursing shortages in hospitals through patient monitoring, mapping wildfire paths to speed response times for emergency management officials, and broadening inclusion of financial institutions through the expansion of job applicant pools and new avenues of credit. In addition to its many uses now and into the future, policymakers need to be informed about the possible negative applications of AI.
AI Commission Report
"AI presents unique challenges from national security implications to privacy concerns to ensuring that harmful biases are not hardwired into the next generation of technological systems to potential large scale job disruptions," said co-chairman of the AI Commission and former U.S. Representative John Delaney (D-MD). "We must address these issues in a clear-eyed fashion, harness the enormous economic and quality of life potential that can flow from AI innovation and protect the rights of all Americans. This will require close coordination and collaboration between government and industry."
Given the important role the business community will play in the deployment and management of AI, the Chamber launched the Commission last year, co-chaired by former Congressman Delaney and Mike Ferguson (R-NJ). Commissioners met over the course of a year with more than 87 expert witnesses during five separate field hearings across the U.S. and in London.
By contrast, last fall the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a Blueprint on Artificial Intelligence, which included recommendations that would hamper America’s ability to compete globally and included overly broad technical definitions that would subject basic computing systems to oversight and regulations, the U.S. Chamber said at the time.
“The Commission’s work considered many different viewpoints and perspectives to strike the correct balance and provide the best recommendations on AI,” said Ferguson. “This report, and specifically our recommendations, will provide government officials, private industry, and advocacy groups with a set of key principles to adhere to in building a regulatory framework and industry best practices.”
In the report, the Commission outlined several major findings from its year-long deep dive on AI:
- The development of AI and introduction of AI-based systems are growing exponentially. Over the next 10-20 years, virtually every business and government agency will be using AI. This will have a profound impact upon society, the economy and national security.
- Future advances in customer services and productivity gains—as well as the emergence of new security threats—will be powered by AI, and, therefore, failure to smartly regulate AI will harm the economy, potentially diminish individual rights, and constrain the development and introduction of beneficial technologies.
- The U.S., through its technological advantages, well-developed system of individual rights, advanced legal system, and interlocking alliances with democracies worldwide, is uniquely situated to lead this effort. The U.S. must act to ensure future economic growth, provide for a competitive workforce, maintain a competitive position in a global economy and address future national security needs.
- Policies and initiatives to both enforce existing and craft new laws and rules for the development of responsible AI and its ethical deployment must be a top priority for this and future administrations and congresses.
Risk-Based Regulatory Framework and other Recommendations
The report identified workforce preparation, global competitiveness, and national security as top priorities policymakers must address in order to promote the responsible adoption and use of AI and establish a risk-based regulatory framework to limit risks.
The report’s regulatory framework called for the following, among many other recommendations (for more see the full report here):
- Using Existing Law, Fill Gaps in Existing Regulations: Appropriate enforcement of existing laws and regulations provides regulatory certainty and would help inform policymakers in developing future laws and regulations. Moreover, lawmakers should focus on filling gaps in existing regulations to accommodate new challenges created by AI.
- Technology Neutral Laws: Laws should be technology-neutral and focus on applications and outcomes of AI, not the technologies themselves (e.g. machine learning, AI, language learning, et al.). Laws regarding AI should be created only as necessary to fill gaps in existing law, protect citizens’ rights, and foster public trust. This approach to AI regulation allows for the development of flexible, industry-specific guidance and best practices.
- Government Collaboration: Federal interagency collaboration is vital in developing cohesive regulation of AI across the government. AI use is cross-cutting, complex, and rapidly changing and will require a strategic and coordinated approach among agencies.
- Private Sector Solutions: Laws and regulations should encourage private sector approaches to risk assessment and innovation. Policymakers should encourage best practices developed collaboratively by the private sector, technical experts, civil society, and the government.
- Workforce AI Training and Development: Policymakers must take action to understand the potential impact of AI on the American workforce by leveraging new data sources and advanced analytics to understand the evolving impact of AI Next, the U.S. must increase education around AI in both the K-12 and higher education systems. Finally, the public and private sectors must invest in training and reskilling to the future workforce and Congress must increase the AI talent pool through targeted refinements to the H-1B visa process. These actions would minimize disruptions to the American workforce and maximize the positive role AI could have on it.
- Global Competitiveness and Collaboration with Allies: With China and the U.S. in a race to be the global AI leader, U.S. officials must collaborate with key partners and allies to develop more sensible global governance frameworks that advance our common democratic goals and values. This includes adequate protecting of AI-enabled intellectual property. Furthermore, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office needs more resources to speed the review of AI-related public patent applications.
- AI-Enabled National Security Systems: The U.S. should look to open investment opportunities for AI-enabled systems to our like-minded countries and allies. Additionally, the U.S. should invest heavily in new ways of testing, evaluating, verifying, and validating military AI-systems to ensure that they are used safely.