Bipartisan Policy Center hosts public event on the future of AI

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) hosted an open discussion on the future of AI on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Washington, D.C. Topics included AI’s impact on the economy and how public policies may change in the near future as a response to these evolving technologies.

The full discussion was streamed live on the BPC website. Participants included Max Walsh, managing director of Ruxton Ventures and a BPC board member; Lynne Parker, PhD, assistant director of artificial intelligence for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Suzette Kent, federal chief information officer of the Office of Management and Budget; Emad Rizk, MD, chairman, president and CEO of Cotiviti; and others. U.S. Reps. Bill Foster (D-IL) and Will Hurd (R-TX) also spoke at the event, providing closing remarks.  

“By fostering collaboration among providers, payers, policymakers and other stakeholders, the BPC is providing a critical forum for leaders and innovators to work together and support the emergence of AI and other data-driven technologies to improve care,” Rizk said in a prepared statement before the event. “BPC’s work will provide great insights to help educate and inform federal policymakers on the role of artificial and augmented intelligence in healthcare.”

The concept of trust was a key topic during the discussion. Participants discussed how these technologies have potential to make a significant impact in key areas, including healthcare, yet the public does not yet trust its data being shared in a way that may be needed.  

“It is important to build trust,” Kent said. “If I had a magic wand, we could understand clearly how we build that trust and how we make available the powerful data that are strategic assets of the federal government on behalf of its citizens. I get really excited when I’m working with HHS and they are able to look at data in one of our lab environments and improve early diagnosis.”

“It’s interesting that we worry about security and we’re worried about trust, because right now, the status quo is that people have silos of data and they are leveraging that data for their own purpose,” Risk said, following up on Kent’s comments. “If you kind of create transparency across that data, you would think that should add more trust, because now the providers are getting information that is retrospective and they are seeing the history of the patient vs. not.”

During his closing remarks, Hurd spoke about how far technology has come in the last several decades and how much more change is on the horizon He added that the United States must work to remain a leader in technology, including AI and other areas, in the years ahead.

“The technological change we see in the next 30 years is going to make the last 30 years look insignificant,” Hurd said. “American leadership in advanced technology has been a central part of our nation’s political and economic power since World War II and, unfortunately, we’ve entered into an age where America’s military and economic dominance is no longer guaranteed. In this new age, leadership in advanced technology is going to determine who sets the rules of the road in a global economy and an international system, and if we, as America, lose our advantage in technology, it will have a devastating effect on our economy and our national security.”