What Biden’s Top A.I. Thinker Concluded We Should Do
In October, the White House released a 70-plus-page document called the “Blueprint for an A.I. Bill of Rights.” The document’s ambition was sweeping. It called for the right for individuals to “opt out” from automated systems in favor of human ones, the right to a clear explanation as to why a given A.I. system made the decision it did, and the right for the public to give input on how A.I. systems are developed and deployed.
For the most part, the blueprint isn’t enforceable by law. But if it did become law, it would transform how A.I. systems would need to be devised. And, for that reason, it raises an important set of questions: What does a public vision for A.I. actually look like? What do we as a society want from this technology, and how can we design policy to orient it in that direction?
There are few people who have thought as deeply about those questions as Alondra Nelson. As deputy director and acting director of the Biden White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, she spearheaded the effort to create the A.I. Bill of Rights blueprint. She is now a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study and a distinguished senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. So I invited her on the show to discuss how the government is thinking about the A.I. policy challenge, what a regulatory framework for A.I. could look like, the possibility of a “public option” for A.I. development and much more.
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This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Roge Karma, Kristin Lin and Jeff Geld. Fact-checking by Michelle Harris. Mixing by Jeff Geld and Efim Shapiro. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero and Kristina Samulewski.