As with any technological development, AI is not without its problems. Though Siri offering the wrong information might be a simple inconvenience, mistakes become more serious as AI technology undertakes greater responsibilities, like identifying promising job candidates or qualified federal aid applicants. Such systems could also be trained on incomplete data, causing unintentional bias toward different groups.
For Hannah Bloch-Wehba, addressing these problems is essential as more governments adopt AI decision-making technology. “Often, it’s not very transparent how an AI arrived at a decision, which leads to less public accountability,” she explained.
Currently, AI development and use has little regulation, and lawmakers are still in the early stages of addressing potential disadvantages. “In the past few decades, technology regulation has been largely permissive to encourage innovation,” Bloch-Wehba said. “We’ve never confronted technology quite like AI before, so the question of the right legal approach is still wide open.” As society continues to incorporate AI in new ways, lawmakers will have to grapple with how to protect values like privacy and equality to make the technology better for everyone.