Artificial Intelligence Primer: What is Needed to Maximize AI’s Economic, Social, and Trade Opportunities



Joshua P. Meltzer | Brookings Institution

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform economic growth, commerce, and trade, affecting the types of jobs that are available and skills that are needed. The U.S., China, Japan, Germany, the U.K., France, and others have recognized the opportunity and are supporting AI research and development as well as preparing their workforce.

For AI to develop also requires an enabling environment that includes new regulation in areas such as AI ethics and data access and revisiting existing laws and regulation in areas such as privacy and intellectual property (IP) rights to ensure that they work for AI. In addition, AI development requires an international agenda to avoid unnecessary regulatory heterogeneity that creates barriers to data access and use and impedes the global diffusion of AI products.

A ballpark estimate for AI diffusion across major economies is over the next 5 to 15 years. This is the window during which to address the range of regulatory and broader social concerns associated with widespread deployment of AI. Key here is building trust and understanding of AI. This includes ensuring that AI contributes to building democratic, transparent, and fair societies. Failure to act could lead to a backlash against AI and regulation that is overly burdensome and stifles innovation.

AI research brief

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