Good News on AI

Bill Hibbard   Oct 2017

Articles about the dangers posed by high-tech are appearing almost daily in publications such as the New York Times, the Guardian, Breitbart, and more from the New York Times (there's been a lot in the Times). This is good news.

Especially noteworthy, commentators as diverse as Maureen Dowd and Steve Bannon have focused on the dangers of AI developed and controlled by elites. If technical elites develop AI without any need to disclose what they are doing and without any oversight, it will be a disaster for the rest of us. Although Dowd and Bannon have sharply different politics, they are both Catholic. Perhaps that is the common thread to their fear about AI. Pope Francis's Encyclical on Climate Change makes the point that unregulated markets combined with advanced technology can cause environmental harm. I would say similarly for the dangers of AI.

When Maureen Dowd and Steve Bannon both talk about the danger of AI developed by elites, that is good news indeed.

More good news: on Fox News Sunday, after Mitch McConnell twice praised the Trump administration for reducing regulation, Dana Perino asked him, "There's a looming issue of possible regulation of the Silicon Valley giants which have largely grown because of a lack of federal regulation and interference. Do you think that that could be about to change under President Trump and a Republican Congress?" McConnell answered, "I don't know. I mean, I think all of these areas, we need to take a look. And I think it's in the early stages of trying to figure out what the way forward is." That is, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, who generally opposes regulation, is open to regulating Silicon Valley (i.e., AI).