Combating AI Bias Through Responsible Leadership.

Author:Santiago, Tamie
Position:Viewpoint
 
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* Artificial intelligence--once just the fascination of science fiction writers--is now poised to transform the global economy and permeate lives in ways never thought possible. Chatbots help schedule appointments. Smart thermostats automatically adjust and warm or cool to one's liking. Refrigerators remind us when we're running low on milk.

Analysts suggest that AI will grow the global economy by $15.7 trillion by 2030, and the international big-data analytics industry alone is expected to grow from $130.1 billion in 2016 to more than $203 billion by 2020.

Living and working in this age of technological possibilities is intriguing and exciting--and made even more so because the U.S. government actively supports and promotes AI's advancement. However, the speed with which we're advancing and embracing innovations in artificial intelligence are outpacing efforts to fully understand and mitigate its challenges, notably the inherent biases hidden in the AI algorithms used to inform decisions.

As long as that remains the case, and in spite of its projected positive global economic impact, AI's proliferation will continue to give rise to concerns about its ethical and responsible use, its role in decision-making and its impact on leaders' executive function, the cognitive processes that make it possible to plan, focus attention, remember, juggle multiple tasks and think flexibly.

U.S. government agencies already are making significant investments in the field. The National Science Foundation invests over $100 million each year in its research. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing $2 billion in its AI Next campaign, a project that aims to build more trusting, collaborative partnerships between humans and machines.

The Defense Department created the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center to coalesce the military services and defense agencies' AI initiatives. Additionally, last year the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory unveiled Summit, the world's most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer, surpassing China's 93-petaflop TaihuLight, which had been the world's fastest supercomputer since 2016.

AI's strength in predictive analytics provides the intelligence community a significant strategic advantage by enhancing early warning cyber attack indicators, boosting intrusion detection and monitoring, heightening analysis and integration, enhancing software analysis, and reinforcing strategic and tactical...

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