Bringing (Artificial) Intelligence to Washington D.C.

By David A. Hoffman, Associate General Counsel and Global Privacy Officer

On November 7th, Naveen Rao, Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Artificial Intelligence Products Group travelled to Washington D.C. to participate in a public panel of thought leaders to discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) is positively impacting our lives and society. Later he met with policymakers about the current reality of artificial intelligence, to address concerns, and describe how public policy can enable further technology advancement.

Intel recently announced the first silicon for neural network processing, the Intel® Nervana™ Neural Network Processor. Naveen also just authored a blog to release our AI Public Policy whitepaper, which included specific recommendations for governments. To allow AI to realize its potential, governments need to create a public policy environment that fosters AI innovation, while also mitigating unintended societal consequences.

Naveen Rao (second from right) discusses AI’s possibilities as part of a panel titled “The Humanity of Technology – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning” in Washington D.C. this week.

The day kicked off with Naveen’s participation on The Atlantic “The Innovation Game” event’s panel, “The Humanity of Technology – Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning”. You can watch the video here. Naveen explained how technologists are excited by the landscape shift that AI provides: the ability to reliably and more efficiently make inferences from large amounts of data. This deep learning approach offers tools that can automate certain tasks and allow individuals to focus their efforts on solving even more difficult problems. This type of processing has existed for some time, but with the technology now being developed, concepts that existed before can be implemented broadly to make a significant benefit for society.

To achieve that societal benefit, governments need to put in place a public policy environment that encourages innovation in, and adoption of, AI technology. Naveen spent the afternoon on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress to hear concerns and discuss possible policy approaches. Those meetings called out Intel’s artificial intelligence public policy principles of:

  1. Foster Innovation and Open Development – To better understand just how impactful AI can be in our lives and continue to explore the spectrum of applications, policy should encourage investment in R&D in AI sectors. Governments should support the controlled testing of artificially intelligent systems to help industry, academia, and other stakeholders improve our systems.
  2. Create New Human Employment Opportunities and Protect People’s Welfare – AI will change the way many of us work. Public policy in support of adding skills to the workforce and promoting employment across sectors should enhance our workforce while also protecting people’s welfare.
  3. Liberate Data Responsibly – AI is powered by access to data. While maintaining security and data privacy, machine learning algorithms improve by absorbing more data over time; data acquisition is imperative to achieving more enhanced model development and training. Keeping data moving will help machine learning and deep learning reach its full potential.
  4. Rethink Privacy – Many privacy frameworks like The Fair Information Practice Principles and Privacy by Design have withstood the test of time and the evolution of new technology. But with major technological advancements, we have had to “rethink” how these models apply in the new environment. (A whitepaper on this topic can be found here.)
  5. Require Accountability for Ethical Design and Implementation – The social implications of computing have grown and will continue to expand as more people have access to smart systems. Policies should work to identify and mitigate discrimination in algorithms and encourage diversity in design thinking.

The day’s discussions demonstrated that policymakers are interested to learn about the reality of what AI can do today and its future potential. Intel is literally inventing and partnering with others to build that future. We are excited to work with policymakers to also shape the public policy future that will help society realize the potential of AI technology.

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