Biden’s AI Czar Wants To Crack Down On ‘Misinformation,’ Prevent ‘Discriminatory Outcomes’

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Jason Cohen Contributor
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The Biden administration is moving toward artificial intelligence (AI) regulation that would mandate government reviews to ensure reliable and unbiased results, according to Assistant Commerce Secretary for Communications and Information Alan Davidson’s remarks at the University of Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

This may include evaluations of whether AI is spreading misinformation and disinformation, said Davidson, who leads the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA). He suggested government audits may help establish trust in this rapidly advancing technology, comparing it to the financial industry.

“Much as financial audits create trust in the accuracy of financial statements, accountability mechanisms for AI can help assure that an AI system is trustworthy,” he said.

Davidson said audits would assist regulators in assessing whether AI systems lead to “discriminatory outcomes or reflect unacceptable levels of bias” and help determine whether they “promote misinformation, disinformation, or other misleading content,” he added. (RELATED: The Media’s Favorite AI Expert Thinks AI Is Racist)

This photo illustration shows the ChatGPT logo at an office in Washington, DC, on March 15, 2023. (Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Davidson cited the White House blueprint for an AI bill of rights, released in October, that frequently mentions the terms “discrimination,”  “equity” and “bias.” Also, OpenAI, an artificial intelligence laboratory, unveiled ChatGPT4, the updated version of its popular chatbot, with impressive results, but disclosed it generates biased content, according to the company’s report in March.

“Hidden biases in mortgage-approval algorithms have led to higher denial rates for communities of color,” Davidson said. “Algorithmic hiring tools screening for ‘personality traits’ have been found non-compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

NTIA also put out an official request for public comment on AI regulations Tuesday and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York is leading a congressional effort to regulate AI that is receiving urgent treatment, Axios reported on Thursday. Similarly, Davidson said, “We have to move fast because these technologies are moving very fast” and this “feels much more urgent” than other innovations.

Technologists including AI researchers, Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak recently called for a six-month moratorium on massive AI experiments, raising concerns such as job automation and propaganda, according to the open letter they published on March 22.

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