We are confronted in today’s world with urgent challenges posed by AI, primarily due to the risk of unethical outcomes. These challenges encompass the dangerous amplification of discrimination, the erosion of privacy and autonomy, and the crucial task of safeguarding against emerging threats such as deep fakes. Additionally, there’s an urgent need to prioritize safety and fairness in heavily regulated sectors like healthcare and finance, while also ensuring shared prosperity by granting equitable access to AI-driven opportunities. The public’s increasingly heightened awareness of these dangers underscores the necessity of addressing concerns regarding the motivations and consequences of unethical AI practices.

In response to these challenges, BLS is embarking on a pioneering journey through our new AI Initiative. Our aim? To adapt and implement the established principles of Structural Parity to govern AI effectively.

The immense power of AI technology is rivaled only by that of states. The analogy between AI and the state can be drawn in several ways:

  1. Governance and Regulation: Just as the state governs its citizens through laws, regulations, and institutions to maintain order and ensure the welfare of its populace, AI systems require governance and regulation to guide their behavior, mitigate risks, and promote beneficial outcomes.
  1. Authority and Power: Similar to how the state holds authority and power over its citizens, AI systems wield significant influence in various domains, including decision-making processes, resource allocation, and access to information.
  1. Social Contract: Just as citizens in a state enter into a social contract with their government, individuals and communities engage with AI systems, often implicitly trusting them to operate in their best interests and adhere to ethical principles.
  1. Accountability and Responsibility: States are accountable to their citizens for their actions and decisions, and likewise, there is a growing demand for AI systems to be transparent, accountable, and responsible for their impacts on society.
  1. Impact on Society: Both the state and AI have profound impacts on society, shaping norms, values, and the distribution of resources. Therefore, understanding and managing the societal implications of AI is crucial, akin to the governance challenges faced by states.

While existing AI governance initiatives primarily focus on raising awareness of the economic, cultural and societal impacts of AI or identifying technical domains for intervention, such as explainability, resilience, integrity, and fairness, BLS’ Structural Parity framework transcends awareness by providing a structured pathway for inclusive decision-making and action.

Structural Parity emerged from a collaborative effort among educators, scholars, activists, practitioners, and descendants within cultural institutions to tackle inherent power imbalances in governance structures. Originally conceived to foster a more inclusive and equitable approach to representing history, Parity evolved as part of a comprehensive Rubric of best practices. 

While the Rubric marked a significant milestone, its true potential was unlocked through translation into a governance model and subsequent implementation. The essence of the Structural Parity model lies in empowering stakeholders at the gatekeeper level, mirroring the foundational principles of representative democracy. 

Fortunately, these principles extend beyond the realm of museums or states; they provide a robust framework for navigating complex gatekeeper challenges across diverse sectors. By adapting Parity to AI governance, we recognize the critical importance of upholding democratic and civic values in the face of multifaceted challenges.

Our AI Structural Parity governance model provides stakeholders from the community, enterprise, and industry levels with advanced technology to agree on inclusive definitions of governance best practices and to implement them with transparency, accountability, and locality.

By translating Structural Parity into computational language, we aim to connect human interests with machine capabilities, empowering stakeholders across the board to harness the benefits of AI systems

Importantly, our initiative is designed to complement existing efforts. Whether led by cultural, technological, academic, or industry partners, we recognize the value of collaboration. BLS brings a unique attribute to the table – an advanced and robust framework for implementing effective industry-wide AI governance. 

Together, we can forge a path toward a future where AI serves as a force for good, guided by principles of equity, accountability, and inclusivity. Join us in shaping the future of AI governance.

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