Google releases its policy agenda for responsible progress in AI

Artificial intelligence is making rapid strides across industries. There is no aspect of human life that has been left untouched by the explosion of AI technologies in the last few years. As developments in AI gained momentum, leaders in technology have been scrambling to offer the best of AI in their products and services. Amid the ongoing AI arms race, Google has come out with a white paper enumerating its policy agenda for AI progress.

The policy paper comes days after the Google I/O event where CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrated the company’s AI-backed services and its broad vision for integrating AI technologies in its products and services. According to Google, advancements in AI models are not only creating new ways to engage with information but are also enabling people to break into the new scientific and technological ground.

The company, while acknowledging that it is at the cusp of a new era, asserted its commitment to move forward boldly, responsibly, and in partnership with others. The Alphabet Inc -owned company stated that calls for a moratorium come with the risk of missing out on the ‘substantial’ benefits of AI and falling behind those who embrace its potential. Instead, the company is focusing on broad-based efforts across governments, companies, universities, etc., to translate the AI ​​breakthroughs into benefits that are ubiquitous at the same time mitigating risks. With the white paper with policy recommendations for AI, Google intends to encourage governments to focus on unlocking opportunities, promoting responsibility, and enhancing security.

Unlocking Opportunities

Google in its white paper has stated that economies that will embrace AI will witness significant growth as it will help various industries produce more complex and valuable products and services. Harnessing AI will help increase productivity despite rising demographic challenges. AI will also boost small businesses and employees too can focus on more rewarding aspects of their jobs. The paper states that in order to unlock the economic opportunities that AI offers, policy makers should focus on innovation and competitiveness, they should promote legal frameworks that support AI innovation, and also prepare their workforce for AI-driven jobs.

Promoting responsibility while reducing risks

The paper states that if AI is not developed and deployed responsibly it could amplify existing societal issues which consist of misinformation, discrimination, and misuse of tools. Google says the absence of trust and confidence in AI systems will limit businesses and consumers from reaping the benefits of AI. The paper suggests a multi-stakeholder approach to governance in order to tackle its challenges. While some challenges may require fundamental research, some can be addressed by developing common standards, shared best practices, and risk-based regulation. The paper also highlights the importance of international alignment to develop common policy approaches that are in sync with democratic values.

Enhancing security

While AI is aiding advanced security operations, it can also enable sophisticated cyberattacks. Since AI has implications for global security, the first step is to place technical and commercial guardrails to prevent malicious use of AI. Governments should explore next-generation trade control policies for specific AI-powered applications that are considered to be security risks. Besides, there is also a need for governments, civil society, and academics to gain a sound understanding of the implications of powerful AI systems. Google’s document says that any progress in enhancing security will only happen with cooperation in the form of joint research, adoption of best-in-class data governance, and public-private forums to share information on AI security and threats.

Google said that it is confident that a policy agenda is focused on the key pillars of opportunity, responsibility, and security.

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