EPIC, Legal Scholars, Technology Experts Publish Statement on US AI R&D Policy

August 8, 2019

EPIC and more than two dozen legal scholars and technical experts have filed comments on a White House Office of Management and Budget proposal to open federal data sets for AI research and development. "EPIC supports the public availability of data from the federal government for use in AI research, development, and testing that is not personally identifiable information," the document states. However, the experts strongly cautioned "against the use of data sets containing personally identifiable information," noting that federal agencies are under legal obligations to safeguard personal information. "EPIC's view of the use of government data for AI reflects long-standing practices in federal information policy that seek to maximize public access to public information while restricting access to personal data," the letter stated. EPIC also encouraged compliance by federal agencies with the OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence, which the US recently endorsed, and the Universal Guidelines for AI. Both frameworks emphasize the importance of privacy protection in AI research. EPIC has previously proposed the UGAI as the basis for federal AI policy – twelve principles intended to maximize the benefits of AI, to minimize the risk, and to ensure the protection of human rights. The Universal Guidelines have been endorsed by more than 250 experts and 60 organizations in 40 countries.

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