News and Analysis of Artificial Intelligence Technology Legal Issues
JSL The Journal of Science and Law

Artificial Intelligence and Trust: Improving Transparency and Explainability Policies to Reverse Data Hyper-Localization Trends

In this peer-reviewed article (Journal of Science and Law; open source), my co-author and I discuss how access to data is an essential part of artificial intelligence (AI) technology development efforts. But government and corporate actors have increasingly imposed localized and hyper-localized restrictions on data due to rising mistrust—the fear and uncertainty about what countries and companies are doing with data, including perceived and real efforts to exploit user data or create more powerful and possibly dangerous AI systems that could threaten civil rights and national security. If the trend is not reversed, over-restriction could impede AI development to the…

A graphical depiction of a chatbot conversation on a smartphone

Thanks to Bots, Transparency Emerges as Lawmakers’ Choice for Regulating Algorithmic Harm

Digital conversational agents, like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, and communications agents, like those found on customer service website pages, seem to be everywhere.  The remarkable increase in the use of these and other artificial intelligence-powered “bots” in everyday customer-facing devices like smartphones, websites, desktop speakers, and toys, has been exceeded only by bots in the background that account for over half of the traffic visiting some websites.  Recently reported harms caused by certain bots have caught the attention of state and federal lawmakers.  This post briefly describes those bots and their uses and suggests reasons why new legislative efforts…

A graphic depicting a series of schematic humanoid robots

AI’s Problems Attract More Congressional Attention

As contentious political issues continue to distract Congress before the November midterm elections, federal legislative proposals aimed at governing artificial intelligence (AI) have largely stalled in the Senate and House.  Since December 2017, nine AI-focused bills, such as the AI Reporting Act of 2018 (AIR Act) and the AI in Government Act of 2018, have been waiting for congressional committee attention.  Even so, there has been a noticeable uptick in the number of individual federal lawmakers looking at AI’s problems, a sign that the pendulum may be swinging in the direction favoring regulation of AI technologies. Those lawmakers taking a serious look…