The event brought together policymakers, deep subject matter experts, and industry leaders to discuss the economic and societal benefits of AI

 Event part of TechNet’s AI for America initiative

 Washington, D.C. – TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today hosted “AI For Good,” an event that brought together policymakers, industry leaders, and deep subject matter experts to discuss how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to grow our economy, improve lives, and keep us safe. The event was part of TechNet’s newly-announced AI for America initiative.

“As I look at the news coverage of AI, I’m struck by how much of the conversation is focused on hypotheticals of what could go wrong rather than how AI is being used responsibly today. We need a more balanced, fact-based conversation,” said TechNet President and CEO Linda Moore. “Today, we heard directly from leading American companies about the ways they’re using AI to improve transportation, education, employment, and other sectors of our economy, as well as the policies needed to ensure America remains the global AI leader.”

AI for Good included discussions with Congressman Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Google DeepMind Senior Research Director Douglas Eck, Getaround Founder and CEO Sam Zaid, Nasdaq Chief Technology Officer/Chief Information Officer Brad Peterson, and other industry leaders.

“Through government, industry, and academia working together, AI could unleash an expansion in productivity and economic growth that we haven’t experienced for a hundred years,” said Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA). “We need to create a landscape where we make forward-thinking decisions about what is allowed, what’s not allowed, and the way the government intersects with industry to both responsibly regulate AI and provide certainty to the companies who develop it.”

“We are working to educate key stakeholders to demystify AI so people have a better understanding of the technology,” said Douglas Eck, Senior Research Director, Google DeepMind. “We should strive to have AI that is socially beneficial, avoids creating or reinforcing unfair bias, built and trusted for safety, and accountable to people and respecting their privacy.”

Leaders from TechNet’s member companies discussed how AI is solving the greatest challenges of our time from health care, agriculture, and education to transportation, energy, and national security.

On finance:

“Techniques using AI and machine learning can look for patterns and eliminate wire fraud. By having this technology, you can spot fraud quickly and begin to protect banks and other financial institutions more rapidly,” said Brad Peterson, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer, Nasdaq.

On transportation:

“For you to rent out your car, you need a degree of trust in the person that’s renting that vehicle. If you look at web products in markets today, often they put that trust on you and you go through your own mental set of processes to make a prediction as to whether you think that’s someone you’d want in your car or not,” said Sam Zaid, Founder and CEO, Getaround. “When we think about AI, we’re doing the same thing, but we’re doing it with machine reasoning. The advantage is you can do it synchronously right when someone expresses interest in renting your car. You also get a lot more data signals with the AI, creating a safer, much more productive marketplace.”

On education:

“AI has the power to be a transformative ally in education, empowering students to learn, equipping educators with ways to engage students, and supplying academic institutions with data and insights on students’ needs and performance,” said Chris McNeilly, VP of Data Science, Chegg. “With thoughtful, ethical, and responsible deployment of AI tools, we can facilitate learning, help improve educational outcomes, and support the academic community.”

On bias:

“The proliferation of AI bias today reflects the shortage of meaningful guidelines, transparent measures, and good data governance,” said Katia Mar, VP of Digital Identity, Onfido. “The coming together of tech companies through organizations like TechNet and the U.S. government provides an opportunity to better understand the current issues and create a path forward to build effective, fair, and accessible AI-powered services that benefit both consumers and businesses.”

On housing:

“Since the inception of Zillow, we’ve started with a machine learning algorithm to predict a home’s value. You can imagine how this has democratized access to a key part of information for people’s welfare and also decreased bias from something that was mostly relayed from people that’s not related to objective data,” said Farah Akoum, Senior Director of Product, Zillow. “AI is helping buyers make better decisions in a much more safe and equitable way.

AI for America is a $25 million public affairs initiative to promote artificial intelligence’s (AI) current and future benefits and educate and inform Americans on how AI is already improving their day-to-day lives, growing our economy, and keeping us safe. AI for America will cultivate widespread awareness and understanding of the positive impact AI is having and will have on all Americans from every walk of life. The initiative will combine coalition building, advocacy, social media, and traditional media to demonstrate the immense economic and societal benefits of AI. AI for America will educate policymakers and opinion leaders about these benefits and support policy and regulatory regimes that are right, not rushed, to responsibly advance America’s AI industry while providing appropriate safeguards and protections for all. Learn more about AI for America here.

Today’s AI for Good event can be watched in full here.