Americans dont have to be beholden to the tech Goliaths to get the benefits of artificial intelligence. An alternative possibility is for government to provide the infrastructure needed for a technological future through a public option for artificial intelligence.
Big tech companies have an extraordinary amount of data about how we behave, largely because they engage in widespread surveillance of much of our behavior. Because A.I. depends on data, these companies have a huge market advantage over start-ups and entrepreneurs and its a gap that will only get wider. The lax regulatory environment hasnt helped, either; instead, it has allowed the biggest tech companies to acquire their rivals, stifle competition and snatch up the best software engineers and data scientists. Together, these dynamics make it hard for start-ups, governments and nonprofits to develop and use artificial intelligence without relying on big tech companies, effectively ceding influence over this developing field to a private sphere distorted by anti-competitive practices.
The alternative is a public option for A.I. The public option, a term familiar from debates over health care, is a public program that provides universal access to goods and services, with a private opt-out. A public option for A.I. wouldnt prevent companies like Google from collecting and using data. But it would provide a pathway for start-ups and public-sector organizations to develop abilities and products that would compete with those of the tech giants. Although the Trump administration released an executive order on A.I. this year, we believe that a broader conceptual framework for the public option for A.I. coupled with significant financial resources from Congress is an opportunity for all levels of government to take control of technology for their constituents and engage them deeply in the development of the rules by which it is governed and used.
Our proposal has three components: The first is a public data pool that would make data accessible to registered users. Local, state and federal governments have sizable data resources that would seed this digital commons. Users would be verified to block foreign governments, hackers and others with ill motives from access, and users would be prevented from using the data to engage in racial or other forms of discrimination and for microtargeted advertising.
Some of the data may be very sensitive, and access to those resources would be highly regulated. We can imagine a variety of ways that regulation and technology together could protect privacy and still foster innovation: Data could be anonymized at the source; the commons could have an interface that allowed users to derive insight from the data set, while leaving the underlying information inaccessible; less sensitive data, like weather information, could be made available in a format optimized for training A.I. Whats more, methods for safely sharing A.I. models without disclosing the underlying data are being developed today and could enable users of the data commons to collaborate on public-interest A.I. services. The federal government should also invest in researching new and better ways to protect privacy and prevent misuse.
Second, a public option for artificial intelligence would include a significant increase in research and development spending. Proponents of big tech celebrate private-sector research and are right to do so. But big tech companies, like all companies, have an incentive to fund research that will support their bottom line, and the profit motive doesnt always mean a focus on the most important problems.
For generations, government R&D spending has been one of the central engines of economic growth and technological progress in America. Yet China is projected to spend far more than the United States on A.I. research over the next decade. A sizable increase in research funding for companies, governments and nonprofits developing public-interest technologies would help expand the types of research taking place and give scientists and engineers the option to do groundbreaking work on a broader range of problems.
Third, much of governments A.I. work takes place in the military sector and is applied to national security problems. But health care, transportation, energy and other areas could also benefit significantly from A.I. The federal government should expand its A.I. procurement across all of these sectors as an opportunity to improve public services for all Americans. In addition, the government should ensure that its use of algorithms meets the highest ethical standards.
A public option for A.I. cant solve every problem related to technology and surveillance, and it would require careful thinking about public governance of these programs including a commitment to privacy and awareness of biases. But it would help address the problem of a small number of companies having virtually all power over this technology. It would facilitate the conditions for a competitive market with many players and many new innovations, all while preserving our democratic values and improving our society.
Ben Gansky (@bengansky) is executive director of Free Machine and a researcher and designer at the Institute for the Futures Equitable Futures Lab. Michael Martin is policy director for Free Machine and head of communities at SignalFire. Ganesh Sitaraman (@ganeshsitaraman), a professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School, is a co-author of The Public Option: How to Expand Freedom, Increase Opportunity, and Promote Equality.
Follow @privacyproject on Twitter and The New York Times Opinion Section on Facebook and Instagram.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Definition - Investopedia - May 31st, 2020
- The Temptations Of Artificial Intelligence Technology And The Price Of Admission - Forbes - May 31st, 2020
- Artificial intelligence offers a chance to optimize COVID-19 treatment in international partnership - Vanderbilt University News - May 31st, 2020
- Reality Check: The Benefits of Artificial Intelligence - AiThority - May 31st, 2020
- Thanks To Renewables And Machine Learning, Google Now Forecasts The Wind - Forbes - May 31st, 2020
- Artificial intelligence is hopelessly biased - and that's how it will stay - TechRadar India - May 31st, 2020
- Top Artificial Intelligence Trends that will Change the Decade - Analytics Insight - May 31st, 2020
- Art and artifice - The Indian Express - May 31st, 2020
- The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Ethical Hacking | EC-Council Official Blog - EC-Council Blog - May 31st, 2020
- Microsoft is cutting dozens of MSN news production workers and replacing them with artificial intelligence - Seattle Times - May 31st, 2020
- Artificial intelligence software improves accuracy, doubles speed in evaluating CT scans of advanced cancer - UAB News - May 31st, 2020
- Coronavirus tests the value of artificial intelligence in medicine - FierceHealthcare - May 31st, 2020
- The Use of Artificial Intelligence by Investment Advisers: Considerations Based on an Advisers Fiduciary Duties - JD Supra - May 31st, 2020
- Lecturer in Artificial Intelligence for Digital Infrastructures job with UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL | 208485 - Times Higher Education (THE) - May 31st, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Market to Reach USD 202.57 Billion by 2026; Rising Demand for Cloud-based Applications to Aid Growth: Fortune Business... - May 31st, 2020
- Walmart Employees Are Out to Show Its Anti-Shoplifting AI Doesn't Work - WIRED - May 31st, 2020
- How artificial intelligence is keeping time-critical shipments on track during pandemic - FreightWaves - May 31st, 2020
- Coronavirus Update: Recent FTC Guidance on the Use of Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms in the Age of COVID-19 - Government Contracts Legal Forum - May 31st, 2020
- COVID-19 Impact: A Mix of Challenges and Opportunities | Artificial Intelligence-as-a-Service (AIaaS) Market 2020-2024 | Growing Adoption of Cloud... - May 31st, 2020
- IIT-Ropar and TSW Launch a PG Programme in Artificial Intelligence - THE WEEK - May 31st, 2020
- MS in Artificial Intelligence | Artificial Intelligence - May 19th, 2020
- What is Artificial Intelligence? | Azure Blog and Updates ... - May 19th, 2020
- What Are the Advantages of Artificial Intelligence ... - May 19th, 2020
- AI Tutorial | Artificial Intelligence Tutorial - Javatpoint - May 19th, 2020
- It's Called Artificial Intelligencebut What Is Intelligence? - WIRED - May 19th, 2020
- Powering the Artificial Intelligence Revolution - HPCwire - May 19th, 2020
- Artificial intelligence is struggling to cope with how the world has changed - ZDNet - May 19th, 2020
- An AI future set to take over post-Covid world - The Indian Express - May 19th, 2020
- A New Way To Think About Artificial Intelligence With This ETF - MarketWatch - May 19th, 2020
- Artificial intelligence-based imaging reconstruction may lead to incorrect diagnoses, experts caution - Radiology Business - May 19th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence in the Covid Frontline - Morningstar - May 19th, 2020
- Patent Analytics Market to Reach USD 1,668.4 Million by 2027; Integration of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to Spur Business... - May 19th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence in Cancer: How Is It Used in Practice? - Cancer Therapy Advisor - May 19th, 2020
- Five Important Subsets of Artificial Intelligence - Analytics Insight - May 19th, 2020
- Ethical artificial intelligence: Could Switzerland take the lead? - swissinfo.ch - May 19th, 2020
- The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Edge Intelligence - Analytics Insight - May 19th, 2020
- 5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Architecture - May 15th, 2020
- Keysight Validates Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ... - May 15th, 2020
- What Is Artificial Intelligence? Examples and News in 2019 ... - May 15th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) Is Nothing Without Humans - E3zine.com - May 15th, 2020
- Artificial intelligence is helping seniors who are isolated during the coronavirus pandemic - WXYZ - May 15th, 2020
- ValleyML is launching a Machine Learning and Deep Learning Boot Camp from July 14th to Sept 10th and AI Expo Series from Sept 21st to Nov 19th 2020.... - May 15th, 2020
- TSA Issues Road Map to Tackle Insider Threat With Artificial Intelligence - Nextgov - May 15th, 2020
- The Expanding Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Tax - Forbes - May 15th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence: Technology Of The Future - Forbes India - May 15th, 2020
- SparkCognition and Milize to Offer Automated Machine Learning Solutions for Financial Institutions to the APAC Region - PRNewswire - May 15th, 2020
- Alpha Modus Allowed 2nd Patent Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Monitoring and Analyzing Consumer Behavior - Yahoo Finance - May 15th, 2020
- Tesla : Artificial Intelligence - the .AI domain is on the rise - marketscreener.com - May 15th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence Can Only Help Architecture if We Ask the Right Questions - ArchDaily - May 15th, 2020
- Fighting COVID-19: Artificial Intelligence community to help citizens and the healthcare system - Canada NewsWire - May 15th, 2020
- Understanding the Four Types of Artificial Intelligence - May 9th, 2020
- Artificial intelligence Facts for Kids - May 9th, 2020
- 4 Main Types of Artificial Intelligence - G2 - May 9th, 2020
- Artificial intelligence project lets Holocaust survivors ... - May 9th, 2020
- Artificial intelligence - Simple English Wikipedia, the ... - May 9th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence Market by Size, Share, Analysis ... - May 9th, 2020
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence movie review (2001) | Roger Ebert - May 9th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence is Evolving to Process the World Like Humans - Interesting Engineering - May 9th, 2020
- Drug research turns to artificial intelligence in COVID-19 fight - Business in Vancouver - May 9th, 2020
- Women wanted: Why now could be a good time for women to pursue a career in AI - CNBC - May 9th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence Used to Identify Light Sources With Far Fewer Measurements - Unite.AI - May 9th, 2020
- The Impending Artificial Intelligence Revolution in Healthcare - Op-Ed - HIT Consultant - May 9th, 2020
- COVID-19 identification in X-ray images by Artificial intelligence - News Anyway - May 9th, 2020
- Is artificial intelligence the answer to the care sector amid COVID-19? - Descrier - May 9th, 2020
- Artificial intelligence - Wikipedia - April 26th, 2020
- artificial intelligence | Definition, Examples, and ... - April 26th, 2020
- What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? | PCMag - April 26th, 2020
- How Artificial Intelligence Is Totally Changing Everything ... - April 26th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence And Automation Top Focus For Venture Capitalists - Forbes - April 26th, 2020
- Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence - Future of ... - April 26th, 2020
- Artificial intelligence can take banks to the next level - TechRepublic - April 26th, 2020
- Health care of tomorrow, today: How artificial intelligence is fighting the current, and future, COVID-19 pandemic | TheHill - The Hill - April 26th, 2020
- How Artificial Intelligence, IoT And Big Data Can Save The Bees - Forbes - April 26th, 2020
- First meeting of the new CEPEJ Working Group on cyberjustice and artificial intelligence - Council of Europe - April 26th, 2020
- When the coronavirus hit, California turned to artificial intelligence to help map the spread - 60 Minutes - CBS News - April 26th, 2020
- Artificial Intelligence in the Oil & Gas Industry, 2020-2025 - Upstream Operations to Witness Significant Growth - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Yahoo... - April 26th, 2020
- Pre & Post COVID-19 Market Estimates-Artificial Intelligence (AI) Market in Retail Sector 2019-2023| Increased Efficiency of Operations to Boost... - April 26th, 2020
- EUREKA Clusters Artificial Intelligence (AI) Call | News item - The Netherlands and You - April 26th, 2020
- A guide to healthy skepticism of artificial intelligence and coronavirus - Brookings Institution - April 2nd, 2020
- AI vs your career? What artificial intelligence will really do to the future of work - ZDNet - April 2nd, 2020