As the digital age evolves, the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in our society becomes increasingly pertinent. The Biden administration, led by Chair of the National AI Advisory Committee (NAIAC) Miriam Vogel, is steadily pushing for government regulation and intervention in AI development. While veiled under the banner of “inclusivity,” such actions have sparked serious concern amongst those who value the principles of freedom and innovation inherent to American ingenuity.
In a recent interview, Vogel expressed that government and civil society need to mandate the use of AI for creating “more opportunity, more jobs, more education, more inclusivity.” She underlined her belief in the government’s critical role in shaping society’s readiness for AI. This perspective is rooted more in overbearing governance than trusting the dynamic equilibrium of the free market.
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Of significant note is Vogel’s work with EqualAI, an organization devoted to reducing “unconscious bias” in AI. The organization was consulted in creating the Biden administration’s “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights,” which promotes AI’s role in ensuring racial equity. By attempting to eliminate so-called “unconscious bias” and “discrimination programmatically,” we may instead see a system of forced “diversity” and ‘woke’ politics, substituting natural fairness and equality with codified control.
Further, minority groups have raised their voices, pleading for federal protection in AI. They fear the technology’s potential to lead to biased and discriminatory outcomes. Even if those concerns are considered, it is vital to understand that over-regulation might hamper the innovative spirit that drives the U.S. technology sector.
Patrice Willoughby, Vice President of policy and legislative affairs at the NAACP, expressed fears about the misuse of AI. Frank Torres of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights argued that the government must ensure AI systems promote “equity and civil rights.” Similarly, Lisa Rice of the National Fair Housing Alliance highlighted past examples of bias in algorithmic systems.
Nevertheless, the path to avoid AI-based bias shouldn’t be heavy-handed government intervention. Instead, it should be a balanced approach that includes an informed, participative citizenry and a responsive private sector.
JudeAnne Health from the Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership and Maria Town from the American Association of People with Disabilities made clear that addressing bias must be a part of the discussion. But mandating blanket “inclusivity” through strict federal regulations isn’t the solution. It poses the risk of inhibiting technological growth and evolution by imposing restrictive rules that may not consider the complex nature of AI and its many applications.
Ultimately, Americans must guard against the overreach of federal intervention in a sphere that thrives on innovation, creativity and competition.