Is Policy Ready for Artificial Intelligence?

Despite public opinions surrounding Artificial Intelligence do not, and will never, reach a consensus, several countries have already begun developing national plans to advance AI technology. In the article, AI is coming, so economic policy needs to be ready, professors from the University of Toronto discuss the importance of economic and public policies to regulate the diffusion of AI and mitigate its consequences. Such policies lay among several fields such as education, business, and privacy. Policies regarding privacy, liability, and data accessibility issues are some of the examples which regulate development of AI and may slow adoption to and innovation of AI. On the other hand, policy ideas such as taxation on robots and a universal basic income are discussed as examples to mitigate negative impacts of AI.

However, it is evident that the advantages of AI technology have accelerated its development and application in multiple industries including self-driving technology and that governments have fallen behind it in helping citizens adopt changes brought by AI. The reason being, there is simply a large number of applications that AI is being used. Furthermore, ambiguity and complexity can also be two key factors that hinder governments from taking prompt action. For instance, when a self-driving car causes an accident, who or what will hold accountable? Is it a vehicle manufacturer, an AI software firm, or a person behind the wheel? There are many other instances that our society raises concerns about AI. Whether public opinions being pessimistic or optimistic, we should stay conscious as to how AI will impact our lives.

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