Blog: Artificial Intelligence Needs Government Regulation
Artificial intelligence is an aspect of technology that is constantly and rapidly evolving in today’s virtual platforms. While artificial intelligence has a vast array of benefits for both producers and consumers, there are also some safety considerations that should be observed in order to execute the resources that artificial intelligence has to offer securely. Currently, producers and manufacturers have full control of artificial intelligence while consumers at the mercy of the program’s functional purpose. Applying government regulation to protect consumers from the dangers of artificial intelligence can help to ensure that society is protected from malicious intent utilized through artificial intelligence functionalities.
Artificial intelligence consists of algorithms developed by programmers to target a specific function and gather information to be utilized for an ongoing purpose. One example of the use of artificial intelligence is market research on a consumer’s buying habits being used in an algorithm to display appealing ads to the consumer. Artificial intelligence mines for and gathers data from consumers or files from equipment in order to develop an interpretation of that information that can be used for a specific purpose designated by the programmer. (“Artificial Intelligence History”) The ability for a programmer to instruct or create a set of rules for a program to follow that will manipulate date and information in an organized manner with a specific intent is very valuable to producers that market to consumers because it can motivate consumers through influence. Artificial intelligence can be used just as a television ad is used to target consumers, however it is much more personalized to the specific consumer seeing the advertisement because it has gathered personal information about the buyer’s spending habits.
Consumers often times wonder why they see ads targeted specifically to their personal tastes when they are scrolling through their social media platforms, or when ads pop up on their computer screen due to cookies being placed on sites they have previously visited. Many consumers are not knowledgeable about how artificial intelligence can manipulate the information they are absorbing frequently. While this may not seem like a dangerous issue or threat to society, it is important to realize that children are seeing this information in the same way when they utilize online platforms. Children might be bombarded with ads frequently of something that they have previously searched for, and sometimes that information is highly unhealthy or unethical for children to be absorbing. Children can have negative emotional consequences from the coercion that artificial intelligence can enforce if they are seeing fearful or discriminatory advertisements.
Government regulation can enforce rules and inflict consequences for misuse of artificial intelligence, the best strategy for keeping artificial intelligence from causing negative impacts to users is to increase awareness among society. Emphasizing the importance of establishing good digital citizenship, monitoring children’s activity online, educating children on how to conduct online activity safely, and building a positive online environment that reports and monitors safety concerns is essential for protecting society. Artificial intelligence can be constructed by a programmer to carry out a very specific and detailed set of instructions that can be very precise and accurate. (“A Brief History of AI.”) Importance should be placed on devising proper rules and regulations for programmers to ensure that the source of the artificial intelligence is reliable, secure and has good intentions. While the consequences of misusing artificial intelligence or being successfully manipulated by artificial intelligence falls upon the end user, it should still be noted that the artificial intelligence was created by a human base with a set of intentions and instructions.
Artificial intelligence is generally resourceful and benefitting, however it also has some disadvantages and drawbacks. Benefits of artificial intelligence include more personalized, targeted advertising for producers trying to reach consumers and more appealing information for users of artificial intelligence based on their personal interests. Artificial intelligence can be used to promote creativity and help people build businesses or promote their ideas. Artificial intelligence can also help to relieve some job functions that used to require a lot of manual labor, such as sending out e-mails and doing research data on consumers. The drawbacks of artificial intelligence include the lack of privacy involved with analyzing user preferences so closely, potential violations of privacy rights and misuse of personal information, as well as manipulative or deceptive advertising that can negatively impact a user emotionally. (“Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence.”)
Government regulation can help to ensure that adult and children consumers are protected from manipulative or deceptive advertising practices that could have negative emotional impacts on society. Government regulation can also help to ensure that producers are not using ill intentions or discriminatory advertising in their marketing strategies. Government regulation can enforce fairness and equality within the economy as artificial intelligence continues to grow as a strong resource for advertising techniques. Government regulation can also help to prevent programmers from creating algorithms that cause negative effects on the general society, such as creating artificial intelligence that harasses or discriminates against a specific audience.
“Artificial Intelligence History” SAS Institute Inc., 2019. https://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/analytics/what-is-artificial-intelligence.html
“Benefits & Risks of Artificial Intelligence.” FLI, 2019. https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence/
“A Brief History of AI.” I2k Connect, Inc., 2019. https://www.aaai.org/