• Principles for artificial intelligence stewardship will give agencies a clear framework for promoting safe, ethical AI development in the private sector. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay
     Principles for artificial intelligence stewardship will give agencies a clear framework for promoting safe, ethical AI development in the private sector. Credit: Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

A Collaboration Framework to Move the Dial on AI

February 26, 2020
By Cameron Chehreh


A framework can foster collaboration on artificial intelligence.


By 2030, artificial intelligence (AI) is projected to add $13 trillion to the global economic output. In government, AI applications promise to strengthen the federal workforce, safeguard our nation against bad actors, serve citizens more effectively and provide our warfighters the advantage on the battlefield. But this success will require collaboration and advancements from government and industry.

Over the past two years, efforts like the National AI R&D Strategic Plan and the Executive Order on Maintaining American Leadership in AI have jumpstarted advancements, highlighting the need for appropriate AI regulation and greater collaboration between industry and government. In a follow-up to the February 2019 Executive Order, the White House released draft Guidance for Regulation of Artificial Intelligence Applications. The guidance offers 10 principles for AI stewardship that will give agencies a clear framework for  promoting safe, ethical AI development in the private sector.  

The principles also reinforce three important considerations for effective AI adoption: government-industry collaboration, clear but flexible guidance to support varied and emerging use cases, and a framework for consistency across government.

The government is making notable financial investments in AI, with more than $1 billion in civilian applications alone. But for government agencies to realize the full value of AI’s possibilities, building on commercial investments is necessary as well.

From unique applications to providing the right baseline for AI—built on the processing power of CPUs and GPUs on AI-ready servers, required tools and frameworks, and necessary platforms like Kubernetes—industry’s contribution will help government see immediate value. These principles support this by giving industry clearer guidance to safely and confidently advance AI.  

With industry and government collaboration, applications will be broad and diverse, from predictive maintenance and smart buildings to connected health care devices. To match this diversity, the principles are purposefully vague, allowing for agency- and sector-specific development versus a one-size-fits-all approach.

Additionally, as the technology develops these principles will eventually guide consistency in regulations that will otherwise need to be tailored for a wide spectrum of industries, including health care, manufacturing, autonomous vehicles and critical infrastructure, among others. This approach will allow agencies to safely test theories and focus on rapid innovation.

Consistency and collaboration across civilian government and defense agencies will also drive faster AI success as applications mature. Federal CIO Suzette Kent has encouraged deeper industry and Defense Department collaboration, which is critical for rapid tech advancements. The Defense Department is moving fast, working with industry to innovate on the battlefield and applying AI for predictive maintenance and efficiency-driving applications on military bases and outposts. When industry advancement fostered by the AI principles is paired with ongoing AI development and progress, the potential applications for men and women on the battlefield can go even further.

When it comes to the development of emerging technology, especially AI, the government is moving fast, but more importantly, it is moving safely with the public’s best interest in mind. As AI projects emerge government-wide, this tailored framework allows for greater collaboration across industry and government, resulting in rapid innovation.

Cameron Chehreh is chief technology officer and vice president, Dell Technologies Federal Systems.

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