Intelligence community rolls out guidelines for ethical use of artificial intelligence

Intelligence community rolls out guidelines for ethical use of artificial intelligence
© Getty Images

The U.S. intelligence community (IC) on Thursday rolled out an “ethics guide” and framework for how intelligence agencies can responsibly develop and use artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

Among the key ethical requirements were shoring up security, respecting human dignity through complying with existing civil rights and privacy laws, rooting out bias to ensure AI use is “objective and equitable,” and ensuring human judgement is incorporated into AI development and use. 

The IC wrote in the framework, which digs into the details of the ethics guide, that it was intended to ensure that use of AI technologies matches “the Intelligence Community’s unique mission purposes, authorities, and responsibilities for collecting and using data and AI outputs.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“The IC leads in developing and using technology crucial to our national security mission, and we cannot do so without recognizing and acting on its ethical implications,” Director of National Intelligence John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeSunday shows preview: Senate votes to raise debt ceiling; Facebook whistleblower blasts company during testimony Biden, Trump battle over who's to blame for Afghanistan Sunday shows preview: US grapples with rising COVID-19 cases MORE said in a statement Thursday. “These principles and their accompanying framework will help guide our mission leads and data scientists as they implement technology to solve intelligence problems.”

Dean Souleles, the founder of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Augmenting Intelligence through Machines Innovation Hub, added that it was important that intelligence agencies use AI to help address an “increasingly complex digital world.”

“One of the IC’s most important functions is to analyze and connect disparate data, infer meaning and ultimately make analytic judgments based on all available data,” Souleles said in a statement. “AI provides powerful tools to execute this mission, but also brings new challenges. That makes it even more important that we do so in ways that are both ethical and consistent with our values.”

The framework was rolled out the same day the Bipartisan Policy Center, in conjunction with Reps. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdFirst Democrat jumps into key Texas House race to challenge Gonzales Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel MORE (R-Texas) and Robin KellyRobin Lynne KellyCBC chair: Spending bill will include funds for HBCUs, housing, childcare Lawmakers seek answers on armed services' plans to address gun tracking Illinois Democrats propose new 'maximized' congressional map MORE (D-Ill.), released a white paper on the use of AI in the workplace and the need to incorporate AI use into educational programs to help prepare a workforce for the future. 

The paper is the first of four that will be rolled out in the coming weeks, with the intention of laying out pillars for a national artificial intelligence strategy and ways policymakers can advance AI development and use. 

“AI is the future of the world’s economy, and we want to ensure that every American worker has the opportunity to thrive in an AI-driven economy,” Hurd said in a statement. “If we provide our kids and workers with the tools to work in AI, we will have prepared them for it. This is how we take advantage of technology before it takes advantage of us.”

Kelly added in a separate statement that “today, artificial intelligence is making some jobs obsolete while creating new opportunities for American workers. It’s imperative that policymakers get in front of these changes to ensure our workers have the skills to continue outperform our competitors.”