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New BPC Report Explores AI & Ethics

Washington, DC – A new report by the Bipartisan Policy Center, written in consultation with Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Robin Kelly (D-IL), and released alongside a virtual event today, explores how to tackle issues of fairness, bias, and privacy as artificial intelligence becomes more prevalent in everyday life.

The report, AI & Ethics, notes that while there are complex ethical questions surrounding the implementation of AI, these public concerns are common among emerging technologies. Fortunately, the paper argues, people have the power to determine how AI technologies evolve and are applied throughout society. In order to address the relevant ethical concerns, the report calls for policymakers to consult stakeholders and experts, work to raise public awareness, and implement thoughtful policy solutions, rather than retreat to denialism or sensationalism.

“Many of the deepest concerns around AI technologies relate to implicit bias and algorithmic opaqueness. It’s vital that the future of AI technology be cooperative, transparent, and designed with diversity and ethics in mind from the beginning of development,” said Kelly.

“AI has the potential to profoundly shape almost all aspects of American life and lives everywhere. And, since whomever leads in AI innovation will also create the rules, we must ensure American minds are at the forefront. This will ensure American values are reflected in future AI systems. Congress can help by creating a national AI strategy that encourages and funds research projects that address American concerns around fairness, bias, and privacy,” said Hurd.

“The United States must set an example for the rest of the world by leading in AI ethics,” said BPC President Jason Grumet.

This report is the last in a series on artificial intelligence issues. Three prior installments, on workforce adaptation, national security implications, and research and development, have been released in recent weeks. In preparing these studies, BPC and its partners worked with government officials, industry representatives, civil society advocates, and academics to better understand the range of challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as AI technology comes into more widespread use.

The goal of BPC’s effort is to suggest concrete steps policymakers could take to advance responsible development of AI, building on the work done by the Obama and Trump administrations in recent years.