Policy-makers should embrace AI innovation instead of over-regulating it, report says

In its recently released report on ‘Ten ways the precautionary principle undermines progress in artificial intelligence’, the US-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation argues that policymakers should embrace the innovation principle as opposed to the precautionary principle when it comes to tackling progress in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The precautionary principle argues that governments should limit the use of new technologies until they are proven safe. The report notes, however, that this principle could lead to more harm than good, as it could generate hypothetical scenarios suggesting that technological progress comes with severe and irreversible threats. The innovation principle, on the other hand, is based on the assumption that technological innovation benefits society and bring more opportunities than risks. As such, the governments should create an enabling environment to support widespread innovation, while building protection mechanisms were necessary to limit harms. In line with innovation principle,  regulation should be applied on a case-by-case basis, where there is a reasonable expectation that potential damages are considerable, and other mechanisms cannot address them. The report argues that AI-targeted policies based on the precautionary principle could have several negative effects, such as slower and more expensive AI development, less innovation and lower quality AI, less AI adoption and economic growth, and fewer positive social impacts. As such, the foundation recommends that, if policymakers want their nations to achieve the full benefits of AI, they should embrace the innovation principle to foster it, rather than the precautionary principle to limit delay or constrain its progress.