The twelfth AI Connect webinar, hosted by the U.S. Department of State and the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center on March 28, 2023, provided a “Year in Review” of advancements in artificial intelligence and technology innovation since the beginning of the AI Connect program in January 2022.
The event began with a fireside chat between Dr. Lloyd Whitman, Senior Director of the GeoTech Center, and Dr. Philip Frana, Associate Professor at James Madison University. Dr. Frana categorized recent challenges in AI development into four areas:
- Mirroring – We must determine whether AI can reflect human consciousness, or have the ability to be creative;
- Misalignment – We are dealing with instances where AI behaves undesirably, for example, when it propagates biases;
- Anti-Humanism – We are faced with the reality that AI is often portrayed as an imminent threat;
- Cultural Transmission – We must acknowledge the tendencies for AI advancements to transmit cultural knowledge and wisdom.
Using these four themes, Dr. Frana discussed the opportunities and threats surfaced by 2022’s rapid AI innovation, including large language models, digital twins, generative AI models (such as Chat GPT), quantum AI, and more. Dr. Frana and Dr. Whitman concluded their chat by emphasizing that encouraging responsible AI policy will require breaking down the “hype” behind AI by centering the AI lifecycle on human needs.
The fireside chat was followed by a discussion between Daniel Remler, AI Policy Coordinator for the U.S. Department of State, and Giulia Neaher, Assistant Director for the Atlantic Council GeoTech Center. Mr. Remler provided a broad overview of emerging U.S. policy approaches to governing AI, including diplomatic engagement, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) AI Risk Management Framework, the White House Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, and Executive Order 13960, which provides guidance for government agencies using trustworthy AI-enabled technologies in day-to-day operations. Mr. Remler emphasized that collaboration and coordination through diplomatic engagement are central to formulating and implementing successful AI policy, noting the example of the Declaration on Military Use of AI and Autonomy from the Reim Summit in the Hague. Finally, Mr. Remler highlighted that fostering innovation, building interoperability, and supporting adoption will remain key to creating effective policy that allows the benefits of AI to flourish while mitigating risks and biases.
Advancements in AI technologies over the last year have been extraordinary. As was noted by both experts from this webinar, centering human values via responsible AI development and deployment remains a priority for academics and policymakers alike as we work together to navigate the new era of AI.
- Resource: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) AI Risk Management Framework
- Resource: White House Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights
- Resource: Executive Order 13960
- Resource: U.S. Department of State’s Political Declaration on Responsible Military Use of Artificial Intelligence and Autonomy