While politics and the economy are still discussing how Artificial Intelligence (AI) should be regulated, the development of new AI solutions is progressing. It’s a race. New and better robots are being built, for the kitchen and for the military.
Algorithms take over more and more decisions. Certain groups of people may be disadvantaged, as happened in the US in October 2019. The algorithms are not “evil” per se. They reinforce the prejudices that people already have. They open relentlessly what we think, because our thinking influences the data sets and the AI rules (mostly unconsciously).
I believe that new regulations will only help to a limited extent. We already have very good laws that make sure that all people are treated equal and no harm is done. The application of existing laws and regulations is important. And more importantly, to become aware of how AI systems are learning and how we can ensure that AI systems comply with current regulations.
I suspect there is still a lot of research to be done. To steer the behaviour of AI systems in the right direction is an opportunity for us to shape the future positively.
Does that scare you? Well, what would be the alternative? To ban the use of AI systems? I think that would be worse, because it could create a shadow economy that would develop AI systems further. Just as there are drug cartels that do illicit business. But with AI it is much more dangerous if it is developed in secret, perhaps even with a lot of money and resources. It is more dangerous because it is so powerful.
AI can be used in both good and evil. Let us use the new tools for the good of mankind. Above all, this includes enlightenment and transparency. Let us understand how existing regulations and laws can best be applied. Let us treat AI techniques in school lessons, educate the interested public. The more people know about AI, the better we can control it. New regulations only help to a limited extent.
By the way, the closer we get to the technological singularity in which AI systems become uncontrollable, the more we should conduct this debate on regulation. Perhaps then I will also change my mind.