A senior General Services Administration (GSA) official involved with artificial intelligence (AI) deployments throughout the Federal civilian government emphasized this week that creating broad-based trust in AI technologies is the key to maintaining the personal freedoms of American citizens over the long term.


Anil Chaudhry, Director of Federal AI Implementations within GSA’s IT Modernization Centers of Excellence, explained that important policy perspective at a June 28 event organized by ATARC. 


After talking about some of the more practical aspects of AI implementation at Federal agencies, Chaudhry spoke about the unintended impacts of advanced technology rollouts, and the need to gain public trust in them. 


“As technology advances and matures, there are many impacts – some good, some bad – but there are many that are unintended,” he said.


“Understanding unintended consequences is very crucial in the field of AI, where trust in the AI is really the keystone to maintaining democratic societies and personal freedoms,” he continued. “For AI to work for the American people. It needs to be at its core inclusive.”


“What I mean by that is, we really need to be able to focus on enabling updated laws and policies to limit the disparate impact of technology on marginalized communities,” including those without access to reliable broadband, and elderly populations, he said.


The latter group, Chaudhry continued, “have not been able to effectively adapt to the digital age … As we’re using these AI tools, and … data and analytics, what are we really doing to be more inclusive for a lot of the elderly folks,” he asked.


“AI also needs to be equitable,” the GSA official emphasized. “What that means in a broader sense is that the applications need to be transparent, explainable, auditable, and most importantly, governable to meet the community norms of the communities you’re in.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.