The White House wants to relax AI regulations

Michael Kratsios (AFP/Getty Images)

On January 7, US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios wrote an op-ed in Bloomberg outlining the White House's new AI regulatory principles, which he says "promote a light-touch regulatory approach," and are meant to counteract China's progress in the field.

While privacy regulations are already law in California and other states, Kratsios argues that loosening rules will help ensure that US companies remain free to experiment and innovate. The memo, also published on whitehouse.gov, is called AI That Reflects American Values.

The principles are open-ended and center on three initiatives. The first urges lawmakers to seek public opinion on AI development and regulations. The second requires government agencies to conduct cost-benefit analysis and risk assessments when evaluating potential AI regulations. The last is perhaps the least specific of the three: "We can advance emerging technology," Kratsios writes, "In a way that reflects our values of freedom, human rights and respect for human dignity."

From the op-ed:

Among other important steps, agencies should examine whether the outcomes and decisions of an AI application could result in unlawful discrimination, consider appropriate measures to disclose when AI is in use, and consider what controls are needed to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the information processed, stored and transmitted in an AI system.

Kratsios spends much of the second half of the op-ed encouraging European countries to follow suit, suggesting a kind of US-EU partnership against China's rapid AI progress.

"Governments elsewhere are co-opting companies and deploying their AI technology in the service of the surveillance state," Kratsios writes.

From the op-ed:

The best way to counter this dystopian approach is to make sure America and our allies remain the top global hubs of AI innovation. Europe and our other international partners should adopt similar regulatory principles that embrace and shape innovation, and do so in a manner consistent with the principles we all hold dear.

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