Wednesday March 4, 2020

Worth Knowing

OECD Launches AI Policy Observatory: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development launched its AI Policy Observatory last Thursday. Known as OECD.AI, the new website aims to aid policymakers around the globe in developing trustworthy AI. The OECD announced plans to launch the observatory when the OECD Principles on AI were published in May 2019. The platform includes guidance on how to implement the OECD AI principles, databases of AI policies and initiatives, and AI trends and data.
EU Reportedly Considering Integrated Facial Recognition System: The European Union may create an EU-wide network of facial recognition databases, according to The Intercept. Under the Prüm Convention, the 27 EU member states currently share police fingerprint and DNA databases. The 39 countries in the Visa Waiver Program — including the United States — share similar data. However, the EU may be planning to expand the existing system to encompass police facial recognition databases from all of Europe and the United States. The development comes after the European Commission considered, but ultimately decided against, recommending a ban on facial recognition.
Machine Learning Spotlight — Identifying Antibiotics: Researchers at MIT discovered a new antibiotic using deep learning. The antibiotic, known as halicin, works against a variety of bacteria, including those thought to be antibiotic-resistant. Researchers trained the machine learning model on a dataset of existing molecules that inhibit E. coli growth, then asked it to predict which of 6,000 different molecules would prove effective against E. coli. From the results, researchers selected candidates for testing and discovered a strong antibiotic in halicin, a molecule originally identified for diabetes treatment. Experts believe this methodology could apply to a wide range of drug discoveries beyond antibiotics.
Government Updates

DOD Adopts Ethical Principles for AI: On February 24th, the Department of Defense formally approved five AI ethical principles drafted by the Defense Innovation Board. The framework covers both combat and non-combat applications of artificial intelligence, and requires AI use to be responsible, equitable, traceable, reliable and governable. However, as Director of the Joint AI Center Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan noted, adopting the principles was “the easy part,” and the real challenge lies in understanding where to apply them. To that end, the DOD has selected lawyer Alka Patel to lead a two-person team tasked with implementing the principles.

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Criticizes EU’s Approach to AI Regulation: Chief Technology Officer of the United States Michael Kratsios critiqued the European Union’s AI regulation strategy in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. The EU should be “spending as much time on investing in these technologies as they are in drafting white papers,” he stated, characterizing the EU’s investment in AI as “very small.” Kratsios said the recently released European Commission’s White Paper on AI “clumsily attempts” to categorize all AI technology as either high or low risk; he called instead for a more nuanced spectrum.

White House Releases First Annual Report on AI: The Office of Science and Technology Policy published its American Artificial Intelligence Initiative: Year One Annual Report, an overview of accomplishments since President Trump launched the American AI Initiative. The document summarizes progress to date as well as long-term vision, including increasing AI R&D, facilitating access to AI resources such as data and compute, and drafting AI regulatory principles to remove barriers to innovation.

In Translation
CSET's translations of significant foreign language documents on AI

Members of the PRC Ministry of Education AI Expert Group: Notice of the Office of the Ministry of Education Regarding the Establishment of the Ministry of Education AI Technology Innovation Expert Group. Announcement of the formation of the AI Technology Innovation Expert Group in 2018, tasked with offering higher education institutions advice on AI talent cultivation, innovation, and cooperation between industrial and academic institutions. The translation has been annotated with information about each member of the group.

What We’re Reading

Principles: Rome Call for AI Ethics, The Vatican (February 2020)

Report: A 20-Year Community Roadmap for AI Research in the US, Computing Community Consortium (August 2019)

Opinion: America Must Shape the World’s AI Norms — or Dictators Will, William Cohen, Leon E. Panetta, Chuck Hagel and Ash Carter (February 2020)

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