MIT publishes white papers to guide AI governance

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A committee of MIT leaders and scholars has published a series of white papers aiming to shape the future of AI governance in the US. The comprehensive framework outlined in these papers seeks to extend existing regulatory and liability approaches to effectively oversee AI while fostering its benefits and mitigating potential harm.

Titled “A Framework for U.S. AI Governance: Creating a Safe and Thriving AI Sector,” the main policy paper proposes leveraging current US government entities to regulate AI tools within their respective domains.

Dan Huttenlocher, dean of the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, emphasises the pragmatic approach of initially focusing on areas where human activity is already regulated and gradually expanding to address emerging risks associated with AI.

The framework underscores the importance of defining the purpose of AI tools, aligning regulations with specific applications and holding AI providers accountable for the intended use of their technologies.

Asu Ozdaglar, deputy dean of academics in the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, believes having AI providers articulate the purpose and intent of their tools is crucial for determining liability in case of misuse.

Addressing the complexity of AI systems existing at multiple levels, the brief acknowledges the challenges of governing both general and specific AI tools. The proposal advocates for a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) structure to supplement existing agencies, offering responsive and flexible oversight tailored to the rapidly evolving AI landscape.

Furthermore, the policy papers call for advancements in auditing AI tools—exploring various pathways such as government-initiated, user-driven, or legal liability proceedings.

The consideration of a government-approved SRO – akin to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) – is proposed to enhance domain-specific knowledge and facilitate practical engagement with the dynamic AI industry.

MIT’s involvement in AI governance stems from its recognised expertise in AI research, positioning the institution as a key contributor to addressing the challenges posed by evolving AI technologies. The release of these whitepapers signals MIT’s commitment to promoting responsible AI development and usage.

You can find MIT’s series of AI policy briefs here.

(Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash)

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