IBM urged industry and governments to jointly develop standards to measure and combat potential discrimination issues brought by of artificial intelligence.
The company issued policy proposals Tuesday ahead of a Wednesday panel on AI to be led by Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“It seems pretty clear to us that government regulation of artificial intelligence is the next frontier in tech policy regulation,” said Chris Padilla, vice president of government and regulatory affairs at IBM.
IBM calls for companies to work with governments to develop standards on how to make sure, for instance, that African-Americans are guaranteed fair access to housing despite algorithms that rely on historical data such as zip codes or mortgage rates that may have been skewed by discrimination. In the U.S., that would likely occur through the National Institute of Standards and Technology within the U.S. Department of Commerce.
IBM also suggests that companies appoint chief AI ethics officials, carry out assessments to determine how much harm an AI system may pose and maintain documentation about data when “making determinations or recommendations with potentially significant implications for individuals” so that the decisions can be explained.
AI and machine learning -- software tools that use existing data to automate future analysis and decision-making -- are used for anything from identifying faces in security-camera footage to making determinations about mortgage rates. AI has also spurred worries that it could kill jobs and spread existing disparities in areas such as law enforcement, access to credit and hiring.
Earlier this month, the White House issued guidelines for use of the technology by federal agencies, which emphasized a desire not to impose burdensome controls.
The European Union is also considering legally binding requirements for developers of artificial intelligence to ensure the technology is developed and used in an ethical way.