Tech CEOs Lose AI Trust: Experts Demand Regulatory Overhaul

by | Sep 26, 2023

Public trust in tech CEOs’ handling of artificial intelligence (AI) issues is declining, according to a recent survey by Axios, Generation Lab, and Syracuse University’s Institute for Democracy, Journalism, and Citizenship (IDJC). This shift in public sentiment highlights the need for regulatory measures and greater responsibility on government institutions.

The survey, which collected responses from 213 experts from top US research universities, reveals important findings. President Joe Biden was more trusted than individual tech CEOs, indicating a growing belief that government bodies should take the lead in addressing AI complexities. Margaret Talev, director of the IDJC, emphasizes the significance of this perspective as it offers a fresh outlook on the uses and risks of AI.

Notably, the survey also shows that no one person is highly trusted in handling AI issues. Instead, experts support the creation of a new regulatory body for AI governance. Around 37% of computer science professors favor a “Department of AI,” while 22% believe a global organization or treaty would be most effective. These findings emphasize the belief that collective efforts are necessary to regulate AI technologies successfully.

Furthermore, approximately 62% of respondents predict that AI will worsen racial, gender, and economic disparities. This concern highlights the need for comprehensive regulations that address the potential negative consequences of AI on marginalized communities. The survey also identifies customer service, art, design, content creation, and administrative and support services as the sectors most vulnerable to job losses due to AI advancements in the next five years.

Opinions on the responsible entity for AI regulation vary among respondents. While 16% believe Congress should assume responsibility, 4% suggest the White House should bear the burden. Interestingly, only 3% mention the private sector’s involvement in AI regulation, indicating a growing belief in the central role of governmental institutions in overseeing AI development and deployment for ethical and responsible practices. However, striking a balance between governmental oversight and industry collaboration is crucial to foster innovation while guarding against potential harm.

The survey, conducted with leading computer science professors, provides valuable insights into the current state of AI. Their expertise and involvement in AI development allow for a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with this rapidly advancing field.

As the AI landscape evolves, the need for new regulations becomes more urgent. The survey’s findings reinforce the necessity for a coordinated effort to address the potential risks and benefits of AI technologies. Experts believe that through the establishment of a dedicated regulatory body or global organization, AI can be effectively managed to promote fairness, mitigate disparities, and prevent unforeseen consequences.

In conclusion, the survey highlights a shift in trust from tech CEOs to governmental institutions, with President Biden ranking higher than tech leaders. This shift underscores the recognition that AI regulation requires collective action and comprehensive policies. As AI becomes more integrated into our daily lives, it is crucial to ensure its development and deployment are guided by ethical considerations and prioritize the well-being of all individuals and communities. With the need for new regulations on the horizon, society must unite to shape the future of AI, harness its potential, and mitigate its risks.