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  • David Hutten

The Vital Role of Government in Addressing the Challenges of Artificial Intelligence

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a rapidly advancing technology that is poised to vastly impact human life - with the potential to transform multiple aspects of social, and functional life. As a new technology this brings, or course, many challenges to the forefront. One of the key roles in facing these challenges will be the role of governments at all levels, and internationally.

How will Government help navigate the challenges of AI?

Job Displacement and Unemployment Challenges:

One of the biggest challenges that Artificial Intelligence poses is that of job displacement, substantial skillset changes, and unemployment. As AI advances, it will only grow in its ability to perform many of the tasks that humans currently do. It will be a responsibility of governments to address these challenges in ways that help mitigate any negative effects of job displacement or unemployment that AI brings about.

Offering programs that help employees upskill is one way that governments can meet this challenge. Offering incentives, funding, and collaborating with employers to help their current staff prepare for the future is critical.

Investing in retraining programs, governments can help workers succeed in the coming workspace.

Government can also implement policies that support workers who do lose their income due to organizations implementing systems of automation - policies like income support, unemployment benefits, or base level income (Universal Basic Income) programs are just a few possibilities for such.

Bias and Unfair Decision Making Challenges:

Artificial Intelligence will only be as unbiased as the data that is inputted. As deep learning progresses, it still will have limits in terms of the biases that are inherently in the original training and programming. If the data is biased, so will the AI system be biased.

Government has a major responsibility to ensure that AI systems are fair and avoid bias. To do this, government could implement regulations and guidelines in advance that set the parameters for training, implementing and reviewing the data that AI systems will build off of. Governments can also invest in research to develop methods that will be able to detect bias, and suggest corrections for AI systems.

Ethics and Accountability Challenges:

As Artificial Intelligence develops it raises significant ethical concerns. Privacy, Autonomy, Accountability, and Equitability to list a few. Governments will have to ensure that AI systems are designed and implemented in ways that protect ethics, and respect ethical concerns. Again, governments could utilize regulations and guidelines to ensure privacy and autonomy are protected. But, government should do more than this. It should be held responsible for funding the academic rigour that will be demanded to explore the philosophical questions that are concerned with AI at the moment.

Societal Challenges as a Whole:

Government will need to remain invested in ensuring and protecting the proper development and implementation of Artificial Intelligence consistently. Job displacement, unemployment, and ethics are only a few of the going concerns. What about inequality of access to wealth, or even a decent income? There could be a widening of the gap between those holding the means, and those without any means. Governments need to create plans to manage these concerns, and to ensure programs, policies, and progressive taxation allows for the appropriate support of all citizens, educational investments, and training programs.

Government must play an active role, though not a controlling role as Artificial Intelligence continues to advance in the coming years.

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