White House shares new AI principles, calling for healthy collaboration and limited regulation

The White House has proposed a new set of principles for governing the development of AI solutions throughout the United States. The move is aimed at promoting public engagement, limiting regulatory overreach and promoting the development of fair, unbiased algorithms.

The 10 principles are:

  1. Public Trust in AI
  2. Public Participation
  3. Scientific Integrity and Information Quality
  4. Risk Assessment and Management
  5. Benefits and Costs
  6. Flexibility
  7. Fairness and Non-Discrimination
  8. Disclosure and Transparency
  9. Safety and Security
  10. Interagency Coordination

Michael Kratsios, chief technology officer of the United States, wrote about this White House proposal Tuesday, Jan. 7, in a new commentary for Bloomberg Opinion.

“Innovations in AI are creating personalized cancer treatments, improving search and rescue disaster response, making our roadways safer with automated vehicles, and have the potential for so much more,” Kratsios wrote. “But with growing concerns about data privacy, big tech companies, and the rise of technology-enabled authoritarianism in China and elsewhere, more people are starting to wonder: Must we decide between embracing this emerging technology and following our moral compass?”

This represents a “false choice,” he notes, writing that the United States can support the advancement of new technologies while still demonstrating the country’s values of “freedom, human rights and respect for human dignity.”

Kratsios emphasized the importance of allowing AI rulemaking to be a collaborative process between American citizens, academics, industry leaders and other individuals directly impacted by these developments. He also wrote that a “light-touch regulatory approach” is crucial to ensure innovation is being promoted and not restricted or minimized.  

“Given the pace at which AI will continue to evolve, agencies will need to establish flexible frameworks that allow for rapid change and updates across sectors, rather than one-size-fits-all regulations,” Kratsios wrote. “Automated vehicles, drones and AI-powered medical devices all call for vastly different regulatory considerations.”

The White House is also working to ensure AI solutions are developed with “fairness, transparency, safety and security” all in mind. Government agencies are asked to back up all policy decisions with evidence that “the best possible scientific evidence” has been followed to a tee, and data integrity is to be protected at all times.

While “governments elsewhere” are using AI “in the service of the surveillance state,” Kratsios wrote, the United States “will continue to advance AI innovation based on American values.”

“The best way to counter this dystopian approach is to make sure America and our allies remain the top global hubs of AI innovation,” he wrote. “Europe and our other international partners should adopt similar regulatory principles that embrace and shape innovation, and do so in a manner consistent with the principles we all hold dear.”

According to the White House, the principles will be released online as a memorandum once they have been finalized. In addition, Kratsios is scheduled to discuss the Trump Administration’s thoughts on AI at length during the annual CES trade show in Las Vegas.

As Wired’s Tom Simonite wrote on Jan. 6, the United States has rejected working with other countries around the world to establish principles related to the development and implementation of AI.