What Is More Important? Access to Information or Money

September 14, 2023

Laws that regulate technology can be outdated because they were written before the technology was invented. While that is true, politicians have updated laws to address situations that arise from advancing technology. Artificial intelligence is causing a flurry of new legislative concerns. The Conversation explains that there are already laws regulating AI on the books but they are not being follow: “Do We Need A New Law For AI? Sure-But First We Could Try Enforcing The Laws We Already Have.”

In the early days of the Internet and mass implementation of computers, regulation was a bad work akin to censoring freedom of speech and would also impede technology progress. AI technology is changing that idea. Australian Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic is leading the charge for an end to technology self-regulation that could inspire lawmakers in other countries.

Husic wants his policies to focus on high risk issues related to AI and balancing the relationship between humans and machines. He no longer wants the Internet and technology to be a lawless wild west. Big tech leaders such as OpenAI Chief Executive Sam Altman said regulating AI was essential. OpenAI developed the ChatGPT chatbot/AI assistant. Altman’s statement comes ten years after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg advised people in the tech industry to move fast and break things. Why are tech giants suddenly changing their tune?

One idea is that tech giants understand the dangers associated with unbridled AI. They realize without proper regulation, AI’s negative consequences could outweigh the positives.

There are already AI regulating laws in most countries but it refers to technology in general:

“Our current laws make clear that no matter what form of technology is used, you cannot engage in deceptive or negligent behavior.

Say you advise people on choosing the best health insurance policy, for example. It doesn’t matter whether you base your advice on an abacus or the most sophisticated form of AI, it’s equally unlawful to take secret commissions or provide negligent advice.”

The article was written by tech leaders at the Human Technology Institute located at the University of Technology Sydney, who are calling for Australia to create a new government role, the AI Commissioner. This new role would be an independent expert advisor to the private and government sector to advise businesses and lawmakers on how to use and enforce AI within Australia’s laws. Compared to North America, the European Union, and many Asian countries, Australia has dragged its heels developing AI laws.

The authors stress that personal privacy must be protected like the laws that already exist in Europe. Also they cite examples of how mass-automation of tasks led to discrimination and bureaucratic nightmares.

An AI Commissioner is a brilliant idea but it places the responsibility on one person. A small, regulating board monitored like other government bodies would be a better idea. Since the idea is logical the Australian government will fail to implement it. That is not a dig on Australia. Any and all governments fail at implementing logical plans.

Whitney Grace, September 14, 2023


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