In episode 2 the Washington AI Network Podcast wiith Tammy Haddad, Miriam Vogel, the chair of the National AI Advisory Committee (NAIAC) and president and CEO of EqualAI, discusses her work at the intersection of artificial intelligence policy, advising the White House and keeping lines of communication open with key stakeholders in Congress, at federal agencies, and within the tech industry.
On Congress, she said “I think most members are clear that this is a moment where they cannot shy away. I think they recognize that they’ve missed opportunities in the past, particularly with tech to weigh in and, and serve their role. And I think we’re seeing a deep sophistication.”Miriam has been working on these AI issues for five years, especially how to keep artificial intelligence safe and discrimination-free. She points out that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are looking for ways AI impacts our financial opportunities, and explains how three years ago the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) began working with the Department of Justice to make sure that AI doesn’t negatively impact housing opportunities.
According to Miriam, “[AI] can create discrimination on who is afforded an opportunity to have a job, to have an appropriate medical diagnosis to be offered a loan. And so the voluntary commitments really look at future iterations and making sure we have safeguards in place so that as AI becomes more powerful, they have committed to putting safety checks in place to be thinking about national security, personal safety.”
As chair of NAIAC, Miriam works alongside experts across fields as part of a Presidential commission that is Congressionally mandated to provide the president and the White House with AI policy recommendations. Under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020, one of the core deliverables was also the NIST cybersecurity framework. On continuing to evolve NIST Miriam says, “we have this very impressive NIST AI risk management framework. It is one of the most applauded government documents by the broadest cross-section I have seen in my several decades having worked in the U S government. So I think smart savvy politicians and policy makers are realizing we have this really important contribution that was delivered to us in January. NIST is continuing to iterate. It was a 1.0, and they’re doing various additional work to make sure that it stays current and that it goes into different avenues.”
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