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Foresight in AI Regulation Open Letter

Published
June 14, 2020

The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) promises dramatic changes in our economic and social structures as well as everyday life in Europe and elsewhere; it has been compared to both electricity and the internet. Both are general, ubiquitous, and reshaped the world. But the internet analogy is more apt, for while electricity requires standards and regulation, it just works the way it works; but the functioning of the internet and its economy were largely shaped by key policy choices made along the way. We now sit in the early days of AI, and the choices we make over the next decade will crucially shape its place in and relation to society. We applaud the European Commission for tackling the challenge of determining the role that government can and should play and support meaningful regulations of AI systems in high-risk application areas. The stakes are high, and the potential ability of AI to remake institutions means that it is wise to consider novel approaches to governance and regulation, rather than assuming that existing structures will suffice.

The Commission will undoubtedly receive detailed feedback from many corporations, industry groups, and think tanks representing their own and others’ interests, which in some cases involve weakening regulation and downplaying potential risks related to AI. We hope that the Commission will stand firm in doing neither. Moreover, as experts who have been involved for years or decades in developing the core technologies, we would like to emphasize one central point: that while it is difficult to forecast exactly how or how fast technological progress will occur, it is easy to predict that it will occur. It is imperative, then, to consider AI not just as it is now, represented largely by a few particular classes of data-driven machine learning systems, but in the forms it is likely to take.

AI does and will come in many forms, including as intelligent software tools, as integrated into massive online systems, and as instantiated as software agents designed to substitute for humans. Each of these raises particular issues and challenges: how do we govern recommendation tools whose recommendations are difficult to predict or understand? How do we manage massive systems that mediate interactions between people, and in which people serve as part of the system? What do we do with software agents that replace people in their jobs or impersonate people in their interactions?
These and many other questions are challenging but largely addressable through proper governance for today’s AI systems. But in each case AI systems of the future will be more capable, more flexible, more general, more continually learning — in short, more intelligent! Laws and regulations can have a defining role in industries, set powerful precedents, and can sometimes hold sway long after their intended lifespan. It is important that in crafting legislation now, the Commission considers, in consultation with high-level experts, the many forms that AI is likely to take, and the capabilities that it will at least potentially have in years to come.

The EU has already shown foresight and clear leadership in adopting meaningful regulations in other technology issues. We, the co-signed experts, support the Commission in taking a meaningful, future-oriented approach regarding the effects of AI systems on the rights and safety of EU citizens.

Signatories

The list of signatories includes:
Yoshua Bengio, University of Montreal, Professor of Computer Science, Scientific Director of MILA
Stuart Russell, Berkeley, Professor of Computer Science, director of the Center for Intelligent Systems, and co-author of the standard textbook "Artificial Intelligence: a Modern Approach"
Bart Selman, Cornell University, Professor of Computer Science
Leslie Pack Kaelbling, MIT, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Director of Embodied Intelligence Community of Research, CSAIL
Toby Walsh, UNSW Sydney, Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Kristinn R. Thórisson, Reykjavik University, Professor of Computer Science, The Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines
Maria Chiara Carrozza, Scuola Superiore Sant"Anna, Professor of Industrial Bioengineering, The Biorobotics Institute
Roberto Di Cosmo, Inria and University of Paris, Computer Science Professor
Alex Freitas, University of Kent, Professor of Computational Intelligence
Luis Moniz Pereira, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Professor Emeritus of Computer Science
Robert Kowalski, Imperial College London, Emeritus Professor Department of Computing
Lorenza Saitta, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy, Emeritus Professor of Computer Science
Klaus-Dieter Althoff, University of Hildesheim, Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Nick Taylor, Heriot-Watt University, UK, Professor of Computer Science, Deputy Director at Edinburgh Centre for Robotics
Dagmar Monett, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany, Professor of Computer Science, AGISI.org
Domenico Talia, University of Calabria, Italy, Professor of Computer Engineering
Anca Dragan, UC Berkeley, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
Dorsa Sadigh, Stanford, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Electrical Engineering
Max Tegmark, MIT, Professor of Physics, co-founder of Future of Life Institute and Foundational Questions Institute
Vincent Conitzer, Duke University, Kimberly J. Jenkins University Distinguished Professor of New Technologies, Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Economics, and Professor of Philosophy
Joe Halpern, Cornell University, Joseph C. Ford Professor, Computer Science Department
Tom Heskes, Radboud University, The Netherlands, Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Wolfgang Ertel, Ravensburg-Weingarten University, Germany, Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Jörg Hoffmann, Saarland University, Germany, Professor of Computer Science
Wolfgang Konen, TH Köln (Cologne University of Applied Sciences), Germany, Professor of Applied Computer Science and Mathematics
Vincent Corruble, Sorbonne Université (LIP6), France, Associate Professor of Computer Science
Johann Blieberger, Institute for Computer-Engineering, TU Wien, Austria, Professor Computer Engineering
Hector Geffner, ICREA and Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain, Professor of Computer Science
Andrea Bonarini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Full Professor Department of Electronics, Information, and Bioengineering
Fabrice Popineau, CentraleSupelec and LRI, France, Computer Science Professor
Pedro U. Lima, Instituto Superior Técnico (IST), U. Lisbon, Portugal, Full Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Joao Leite, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, Professor Computer Science Department
F. Amilcar Cardoso, University of Coimbra, Portugal, Professor Artificial Intelligence
Benedita Malheiro, Polytechnic Institute of Porto,Portugal, Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering
Juris Borzovs, Latvijas Universitate, Latvia, Professor, Vice-Dean Faculty of Computing
Samer Hassan, UCM & Harvard University, Madrid, Associate Professor of Computer Science
Paolo Torroni, University of Bologna, Italy, Associate Professor of Computer Science
Peter Sincak, TU Kosice, Slovakia, Professor and Head of Department of Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence
Walter Daelemans, University of Antwerp, Belgium, Professor in Computational Linguistics
Ivan Bratko, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, Professor of Computer Science
Salvador García, University of Granada, Spain, Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
Diego Calvanese, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and Umeå University, Italy, Prof of Computer Science
Jörg Siekman, Saarbrücken University, DFKI, Germany, Professor for Computer Science and AI
Thore Husfeldt, Lund University and ITU Copenhagen, Sweden, Professor of Computer Science
Georgios N. Yannakakis, Institute of Digital Games, University of Malta & Technical University of Crete, Malta, Professor and Director
Matjaz Gams, Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia, Department of Intelligent systems, National Council for Science
Gregorio de Miguel Casado, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain, Assistant Professor
Grigorios Tsoumakas, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, Assistant Professor of Machine Learning and Knowledge Discovery
Vassilis P. Plagianakos, University of Thessaly, Greece, Professor and Founder of the Intelligent Systems Lab of the Department of Computer Science and Biomedical Informatics
Marcel van Gerven, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, the Netherlands, Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Max Hinne, Radboud University, the Netherlands, Assistant professor Department of Artificial Intelligence
Pablo Lanillos, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, the Netherlands, Assistant Professor in Cognitive AI
Pim Haselager, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Dpt. of Artificial Intelligence, Radboud University, Associate Professor Theoretical Cognitive Science
Helge Langseth, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Professor of Computer Science
Keith Linn Downing, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Zhirong Yang, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Professor in Norwegian Open AI Lab
Kerstin Bach, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Agnar Aamodt, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Odd Erik Gundersen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Associate Professor Department of Computer Science
Pinar Øzturk, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Associate Professor Department of Computer Science
Devdatt Dubhashi, Chalmers University, Sweden, Professor Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Professor of Computer Science
Ivica Crnkovi, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Professor in Software Engineering, director of Chalmers AI research centre
Jörg Siekmann, Saarbrücken University, DFKI Germany, Professor for Computer Science and AI
German Vidal, VRAIN, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Professor of Computer Science
Stefan Trausan-Matu, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Romania, Professor of Computer Science
Adina Magda Florea, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Professor of Computer Science, Vice Rector
Salvatore Gaglio, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Italy, Full Professor Artificial Intelligence
Jean-Christophe Janodet, University of Evry, France, Professor of Computer Science
Guillaume Aucher, University of Rennes, France, Associate Professor of Computer Science
Carles Ventura, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunication
Fredrik Heintz, Linköping University, Sweden, Associate Professor of Computer Science
Fernando Fernández Rebollo, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain, Associate Professor Computer Science Department
Laura Alonso Alemany, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina, Full Professor Department of Computer Science
Ricardo Oscar Rodriguez, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Professor of Computer Science
Maria Vanina Martinez, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, Researcher and Professor of Computer Science
Ramon F. Brena, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico, Full professor at the Dept of Computer Science
Raúl Monroy, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico, Professor of Computer Science
Peter van Beek, University of Waterloo, Professor of Computer Science
Hristijan Gjoreski, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia, Assistant Professor at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies
Chrisina Jayne, Teesside University, UK, Dean of School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies
Engelbert Mephu Nguifo, University Clermont Auvergne, France, Professor
Huw Price, University of Cambridge, Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, co-founder of the Center for the Study of Existential Risk
Jaan Tallinn, co-founder of Centre for Study of Existential Risk
Olle Häggström, Chalmers University of Technology, Professor of Mathematical Statistics
José Hernández-Orallo, Professor at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, Spain, and Associate Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
S. M. Amadae, University of Helsinki, MIT, Cambridge University, Stanford University, Lecturer in Political Science
Zlatko Lagumdzija, Professor of Management and IT, former Prime minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nicolas Miailhe, Founder & President, The Future Society
Cyrus Hodes, Chair of The AI Initiative, The Future Society
Nicolas Moës, Head of Operations, AI Policy Researcher, The Future Society
Anna Alexandrova, University of Cambridge, Reader in Philosophy of Science
Shahar Avin, University of Cambridge, Senior Researcher Associate, Centre for Study of Existential Risk
Natalie Jones, University of Cambridge, Research Associate, Centre for Study of Existential Risk
Clarissa Rios Rojas, University of Cambridge, Research Associate, Centre for Study of Existential Risk
Alexa Hagerty, University of Cambridge, Research Associate, Centre for Study of Existential Risk
Asaf Tzachor, University of Cambridge, Research Associate, Centre for Study of Existential Risk
Luke Kemp, University of Cambridge, Research Associate, Centre for Study of Existential Risk
Haydn Belfield, University of Cambridge, Academic Project Manager, Centre for Study of Existential Risk
Sean O hEigeartaigh, University of Cambridge, Programme Director, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
Rune Nyrup, University of Cambridge, Senior Research Fellow, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
Karina Vold, University of Cambridge, Research Associate, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
Geoff Keeling, University of Cambridge, Research Assistant, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
Daniel Eth, Oxford University, Senior Research Scholar, Future of Humanity Institute
Lewis Hammond, Oxford University, DPhil Affiliate, Future of Humanity Institute
Björn Gambäck, RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden; Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Professor of Language Technology
Marco Forzati, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Data Analysis Director
Torbjörn Lundh, Chalmers University of Technology, and University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Professor of Biomathematics
Marina Axelson-Fisk, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Professor in Mathematical Statistics
Kalle Åström, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Lund University, Sweden, Professor in Mathematics
Claes Strannegård, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Data Science and AI division Professor
Holger Rootzén, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Professor in Mathematical Statistics
Marc Maceira, UOC, Barcelona, Assistant professor
Thanasis Daradoumis, University of the Aegean, Open University of Catalonia, Professor Department of Cultural Technology and Communication
Pere Tuset, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunication
João Balsa, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, Assistant Professor Computer Science Department
Frieder Stolzenburg, Harz University of Applied Sciences, Germany, Professor of Knowledge-Based Systems
Jordi Conesa, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain, Associate Professor of Computer Science
Jordi Casas-Roma, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science
Umberto Picchini, Chalmers University and University of Göteborg, Sweden, Associate Professor in Mathematical Statistics
Karl de Fine Licht, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Technology
Giulio Mecacci, Radboud University, the Netherlands, Assistant Professor, Ethics of AI
Tim Kietzmann, Radboud University, the Netherlands, Assistant Professor AI
Daniel Riera Terrén, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain, Dean of the Computing, multimedia and telecommunication's department
Marzyeh Ghassemi, University of Toronto, Canada, Professor in Computer Science and Medicine
Chris J. Maddison, University of Toronto, Canada, Assistant Professor Department of Computer Science
Roger Grosse, University of Toronto, Canada, Assistant Professor Computer Science Department
Nicolas Papernot, University of Toronto, Canada, Assistant Professor of Electrical, Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Canada CIFAR AI Chair
Sheila McIlraith, University of Toronto, Canada, Professor in the Department of Computer Science
Jennifer Nagel, University of Toronto, Canada, Professor of Philosophy and Research Lead, Schwarz Reisman Institute
Gillian Hadfield, University of Toronto, Canada, Director and Schwartz Reisman Chair in Technology and Society
Juliana Schroeder, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, Professor, Management of Organizations
Agustín Gravano, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella + CONICET, Argentina, Professor in the Business School
Espen Haugsdal, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, PhD Candidate
Silvester Sabathiel, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, PhD Candidate
Håkon Måløy, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, PhD Candidate
Ludvig Killingberg, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, PhD Candidate
Daniel Groos, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, PhD Research Fellow
Shivam Nalin Patel, Research Assistant, University of Montréal, MILA
María Aurora Martínez rey, Universidad a Distancia de Madrid, Spain, Research Associate
Jan-Pieter Paardekooper, Radboud University, the Netherlands, Research fellow
Joan Casas-Roma, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Spain, Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Dylan Hadfield-Menell, University of California, Berkeley EECS; Center for Human-Compatible AI, PhD Candidate
Alex Turner, Oregon State University, PhD research fellow
Peter Eckersley, Former Director of Research Partnership on AI, and Chief Computer Scientist, EFF
Jessica Newman, UC Berkeley AI Security Initiative, Program Lead
Caroline Jeanmaire, UC Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI, Director of Strategic Research and Partnerships
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