5. Benefits and Costs

When developing regulatory and non regulatory approaches, agencies will often consider the application and deployment of AI into already regulated industries. Presumably, such significant investments would not occur unless they offered significant economic potential. As in all technological transitions of this nature, the introduction of AI may also create unique challenges. For example, while the broader legal environment already applies to AI applications, the application of existing law to questions of responsibility and liability for decisions made by AI could be unclear in some instances, leading to the need for agencies, consistent with their authorities, to evaluate the benefits, costs, and distributional effects associated with any identified or expected method for accountability. Executive Order 12866 calls on agencies to “select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity).” Agencies should, when consistent with law, carefully consider the full societal costs, benefits, and distributional effects before considering regulations related to the development and deployment of AI applications. Such consideration will include the potential benefits and costs of employing AI, when compared to the systems AI has been designed to complement or replace, whether implementing AI will change the type of errors created by the system, as well as comparison to the degree of risk tolerated in other existing ones. Agencies should also consider critical dependencies when evaluating AI costs and benefits, as technological factors (such as data quality) and changes in human processes associated with AI implementation may alter the nature and magnitude of the risks and benefits. In cases where a comparison to a current system or process is not available, evaluation of risks and costs of not implementing the system should be evaluated as well.
Principle: Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Jan 13, 2020

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States

Related Principles

3. Principle of controllability

Developers should pay attention to the controllability of AI systems. [Comment] In order to assess the risks related to the controllability of AI systems, it is encouraged that developers make efforts to conduct verification and validation in advance. One of the conceivable methods of risk assessment is to conduct experiments in a closed space such as in a laboratory or a sandbox in which security is ensured, at a stage before the practical application in society. In addition, in order to ensure the controllability of AI systems, it is encouraged that developers pay attention to whether the supervision (such as monitoring or warnings) and countermeasures (such as system shutdown, cut off from networks, or repairs) by humans or other trustworthy AI systems are effective, to the extent possible in light of the characteristics of the technologies to be adopted. [Note] Verification and validation are methods for evaluating and controlling risks in advance. Generally, the former is used for confirming formal consistency, while the latter is used for confirming substantial validity. (See, e.g., The Future of Life Institute (FLI), Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence (2015)). [Note] Examples of what to see in the risk assessment are risks of reward hacking in which AI systems formally achieve the goals assigned but substantially do not meet the developer's intents, and risks that AI systems work in ways that the developers have not intended due to the changes of their outputs and programs in the process of the utilization with their learning, etc. For reward hacking, see, e.g., Dario Amodei, Chris Olah, Jacob Steinhardt, Paul Christiano, John Schulman & Dan Mané, Concrete Problems in AI Safety, arXiv: 1606.06565 [cs.AI] (2016).

Published by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), the Government of Japan in AI R&D Principles, Jul 28, 2017

4. Principle of safety

Developers should take it into consideration that AI systems will not harm the life, body, or property of users or third parties through actuators or other devices. [Comment] AI systems which are supposed to be subject to this principle are such ones that might harm the life, body, or property of users or third parties through actuators or other devices. It is encouraged that developers refer to relevant international standards and pay attention to the followings, with particular consideration of the possibility that outputs or programs might change as a result of learning or other methods of AI systems: ● To make efforts to conduct verification and validation in advance in order to assess and mitigate the risks related to the safety of the AI systems. ● To make efforts to implement measures, throughout the development stage of AI systems to the extent possible in light of the characteristics of the technologies to be adopted, to contribute to the intrinsic safety (reduction of essential risk factors such as kinetic energy of actuators) and the functional safety (mitigation of risks by operation of additional control devices such as automatic braking) when AI systems work with actuators or other devices. And ● To make efforts to explain the designers’ intent of AI systems and the reasons for it to stakeholders such as users, when developing AI systems to be used for making judgments regarding the safety of life, body, or property of users and third parties (for example, such judgments that prioritizes life, body, property to be protected at the time of an accident of a robot equipped with AI).

Published by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), the Government of Japan in AI R&D Principles, Jul 28, 2017

1. Principle of proper utilization

Users should make efforts to utilize AI systems or AI services in a proper scope and manner, under the proper assignment of roles between humans and AI systems, or among users. [Main points to discuss] A) Utilization in the proper scope and manner On the basis of the provision of information and explanation from developers, etc. and with consideration of social contexts and circumstances, users may be expected to use AI in the proper scope and manner. In addition, users may be expected to recognize benefits and risks, understand proper uses, acquire necessary knowledge and skills and so on before using AI, according to the characteristics, usage situations, etc. of AI. Furthermore, users may be expected to check regularly whether they use AI in an appropriate scope and manner. B) Proper balance of benefits and risks of AI AI service providers and business users may be expected to take into consideration proper balance between benefits and risks of AI, including the consideration of the active use of AI for productivity and work efficiency improvements, after appropriately assessing risks of AI. C) Updates of AI software and inspections repairs, etc. of AI Through the process of utilization, users may be expected to make efforts to update AI software and perform inspections, repairs, etc. of AI in order to improve the function of AI and to mitigate risks. D) Human Intervention Regarding the judgment made by AI, in cases where it is necessary and possible (e.g., medical care using AI), humans may be expected to make decisions as to whether to use the judgments of AI, how to use it etc. In those cases, what can be considered as criteria for the necessity of human intervention? In the utilization of AI that operates through actuators, etc., in the case where it is planned to shift to human operation under certain conditions, what kind of matters are expected to be paid attention to? [Points of view as criteria (example)] • The nature of the rights and interests of indirect users, et al., and their intents, affected by the judgments of AI. • The degree of reliability of the judgment of AI (compared with reliability of human judgment). • Allowable time necessary for human judgment • Ability expected to be possessed by users E) Role assignments among users With consideration of the volume of capabilities and knowledge on AI that each user is expected to have and ease of implementing necessary measures, users may be expected to play such roles as seems to be appropriate and also to bear the responsibility. F) Cooperation among stakeholders Users and data providers may be expected to cooperate with stakeholders and to work on preventive or remedial measures (including information sharing, stopping and restoration of AI, elucidation of causes, measures to prevent recurrence, etc.) in accordance with the nature, conditions, etc. of damages caused by accidents, security breaches, privacy infringement, etc. that may occur in the future or have occurred through the use of AI. What is expected reasonable from a users point of view to ensure the above effectiveness?

Published by Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), the Government of Japan in Draft AI Utilization Principles, Jul 17, 2018

4. Risk Assessment and Management

Regulatory and non regulatory approaches to AI should be based on a consistent application of risk assessment and risk management across various agencies and various technologies. It is not necessary to mitigate every foreseeable risk; in fact, a foundational principle of regulatory policy is that all activities involve tradeoffs. Instead, a risk based approach should be used to determine which risks are acceptable and which risks present the possibility of unacceptable harm, or harm that has expected costs greater than expected benefits. Agencies should be transparent about their evaluations of risk and re evaluate their assumptions and conclusions at appropriate intervals so as to foster accountability. Correspondingly, the magnitude and nature of the consequences should an AI tool fail, or for that matter succeed, can help inform the level and type of regulatory effort that is appropriate to identify and mitigate risks. Specifically, agencies should follow the direction in Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review,”to consider the degree and nature of the risks posed by various activities within their jurisdiction. Such an approach will, where appropriate, avoid hazard based and unnecessarily precautionary approaches to regulation that could unjustifiably inhibit innovation.

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States in Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Jan 13, 2020

8. Disclosure and Transparency

In addition to improving the rulemaking process, transparency and disclosure can increase public trust and confidence in AI applications. At times, such disclosures may include identifying when AI is in use, for instance, if appropriate for addressing questions about how the application impacts human end users. Agencies should be aware that some applications of AI could increase human autonomy. Agencies should carefully consider the sufficiency of existing or evolving legal, policy, and regulatory environments before contemplating additional measures for disclosure and transparency. What constitutes appropriate disclosure and transparency is context specific, depending on assessments of potential harms, the magnitude of those harms, the technical state of the art, and the potential benefits of the AI application.

Published by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), United States in Principles for the Stewardship of AI Applications, Jan 13, 2020