Public Input and Next Steps on the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Megan Smith
Sep 6, 2016 · 3 min read

By: Ed Felten and Terah Lyons

Today, as part of the White House Future of Artificial Intelligence Initiative, OSTP is releasing the public comments submitted on artificial intelligence, sharing insights from five events across the country, and announcing a new White House event on artificial intelligence at the Frontiers Conference in October, 2016.

In June, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced a new Request for Information (RFI) on Artificial Intelligence (AI), to solicit feedback on how the United States can best prepare for the future of AI. We received 161 responses from a range of stakeholders, including individuals, academics and researchers, non-profit organizations, and industry. We are grateful for the insights and expertise invested by the public in submitting these responses. Today, we are releasing the public comments from the RFI, downloadable in human-readable PDF or machine-readable JSON.

Public Workshops on Artificial Intelligence

The RFI follows an announcement by OSTP of a series of new actions as a part of a White House Future of Artificial Intelligence initiative. We held a series of events co-hosted with academic institutions and non-profit organizations which took place over a period of several months across the country, including four topical public workshops and an event hosted in conjunction with the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. In total, the workshops had more than 2,000 in-person participants, and many thousands of viewers tuned in online from across the world to watch the event livestreams in real time.

Videos of the AI workshops are available for streaming:

Law and Governance Workshop, May 24 in Seattle, WA — watch here:

AI for Social Good Workshop, June 7 in Washington, DC — watch here:

The full workshop can be viewed here.

Emerging Topics and Societal Benefit Workshop, June 23 in Palo Alto, CA — watch here:

The whole workshop can be viewed here.

Technology, Safety, and Control Workshop, June 28 in Pittsburgh, PA — watch here:

The full workshop can be viewed here.

Economic and Social Implications, July 7 in New York, NY — watch here:

The full workshop can be viewed here.

All of the public outreach and research that we have done will culminate in a public report on AI to be published later this year.

This work continues the Administration’s work to invest in and better understand the benefits and risks of AI technologies, including the ways robotics and AI can improve people’s lives and grow the American economy. In 2011, at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh, the President announced the National Robotics Initiative — a multi-agency effort to advance the research and development of next-generation robots that can solve problems in areas of national priority, including in manufacturing, sustainable agriculture, space and undersea exploration, health, transportation, personal and homeland security, and disaster resiliency and sustainable infrastructure. Federal agencies involved in this research and development effort also sit on the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Subcommittee on Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence announced by OSTP in May. This group will continue to work to coordinate policy and monitor state-of-the-art advances and technology milestones in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

National Frontiers: Artificial Intelligence

On October 13, President Obama will return to Pittsburgh to host the White House Frontiers Conference, a national conference that the White House is co-hosting with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to explore the future of innovation in America and around the world. The conference will focus on building U.S. capacity in science, technology, innovation, and the new technologies, challenges, and goals that will shape the 21st century and beyond. At the conference, we’ll continue the national conversation about the challenges and opportunities in AI technology, among other topics. We look forward to continuing the discussion.

Ed Felten is a Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer in OSTP.

Terah Lyons is a Policy Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer in OSTP.

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