The Biden administration has a plan for federal investments in artificial intelligence (AI) that goes beyond just technological advancements. The plan focuses on advancing “equity” and counteracting “inequity” in society. This is a major step towards creating a more just and fair society.
What’s in the Plan?
The National AI R&D Strategic Plan, released by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), outlines several strategies that the government needs to focus on. These include making long-term investments in fundamental and “responsible” AI research, developing effective methods of human-AI collaboration, understanding and addressing the ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI, and ensuring the safety and security of AI systems.
Other strategies include developing shared public datasets for AI development, evaluating AI systems through benchmarks, better understanding the needs of the national AI R&D workforce, expanding public-private partnerships to accelerate AI advancements, and establishing a coordinated and principled approach to international collaboration in AI research.
The plan also envisions the creation of a “national technical AI workforce” and illuminating the demographic disparities and gaps in the AI workforce to increase equity and diversity.
Equity in AI
One of the most important objectives of the plan is to ensure that AI systems “promote equity.” The National AI R&D Strategic Plan insists that AI capabilities need to “advance equity rather than exacerbating inequity.”
The plan states that research to make beneficial AI accessible in historically underrepresented communities will help ensure that those in greatest need of these capabilities can use them. This is a major step towards creating a more just and fair society.
Public Opinion and Education
The White House is also seeking public input on AI and its impact on equity and civil rights. The U.S. Department of Education has also released a report on using AI in education, which also focuses on the equity narrative.
It’s important to note that equity is different from equality. While equality treats everyone in a society on an equal footing, equity focuses on the forced redistribution of resources to address perceived imbalances. This is a major step towards creating a more just and fair society.
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