AI Policy Document – Human, Intellect, Machine and State

ByTehilla Shwartz Altshuler

Within less than a decade it will be impossible to imagine life with computerized power and without investment in smart and learning machines. These machines will help us or replace us in decision making, forecasting, planning, commerce, and logistics. They will naturally be responsible for our immediate living environment – the way we communicate and move from place to place, perform our professional work, evaluate risks, plan medical treatments, or elect our representatives to the Knesset.

The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution offers the potential to improve our lives and to enhance the efficiency of systems in numerous fields. The pace of technological progress is faster than the human ability to adapt. Accordingly, we see a high level of digital ignorance among decision makers. The state’s efforts to cope with the internet revolution over the past 20 years shows a pattern of repeated failures to anticipate the directions of development and address them promptly. There is a vital need to try to give decision makers tools for bridging the gap between technological progress and human adaptation; to enrich interdisciplinary research discourse on the subject; and to make Israel – a start-up nation in the technological field – a start-up society that understands the opportunities and engages in meaningful discourse on this subject.

The document will present the three leading trends in terms of technological progress in machine learning, as connected phenomena: enhanced efficiency in the technological development of hardware aspects (the adoption of independent learning models; enhanced capabilities in translation, voice recognition, and computerized vision; elaboration of recommendation systems; and capabilities to recognize human linguistic and conversational contexts); the connectivity revolution and the Internet of Things; and artificial intelligence and machine learning. The reason for including the AI revolution alongside the developments in hardware and the connectivity revolution is two-fold: firstly, there is a need to learn from what happened surrounding the development of the internet over the past two decades, including the relation between technological development and regulatory efforts; secondly, there is a need to distinguish between the different challenges that each of these fields presents.

Discourse has already emerged on the subject of “law and technology,” and the public institutions and private companies that invented the internet are substantively involved in projects in the field of robotic development and AI. The information revolution and the connectivity revolution have played a crucial role in creating the need that led to the AI revolution. However, the field of AI will create a range of issues, some of them new. The document will address the three core issues that we have identified:

(A) The inherent AI capacity of a physical instrument (i.e. a robot) to cause physical harm, raising issues of cyber security and damages and criminal liability.

(B) The regulation of artificial intelligence.

(C) Directions of development for the end products of AI, and in particular the advancement of visual capabilities and the deciphering of natural language – as features that seek to blur the border between human and machine, and accordingly raise various ethical questions, particularly in terms of behavioral adaptation and the protection of human rights.