B.C. Green Party calling for an ‘all-party artificial intelligence task force’

B.C. Green Party calling for an ‘all-party artificial intelligence task force’

Artificial intelligence is increasingly present in daily life. It has made rapid advances in self-driving vehicles, writing papers and even medical research, but it is leading to concerns and questions about the ethics of the technology.

BC’s Green Party announced Thursday that it is asking the NDP government to create an all-party AI task force to help better understand how far-reaching the technology could be.

“How do we create a common understanding between the three parties so that we have a collaborative approach to ensure that our citizens and our economy are not negatively affected?” said Adam Olsen, the Green MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.

He also notes the positive impact the technology can have, including filling labor shortages in many sectors.

“What mechanisms do we have in place to ensure that we are proactive, not reactive?” he said.

Olsen compares the new technology to short-term rentals, which he says the government has been slow to regulate.

“We could have put regulations in place before those adverse impacts occurred and became so deeply rooted in our real estate environment,” he said.

His drive to be proactive is something that the CEO of OpenAI – the company responsible for the popular generative AI program ChatGPT – also insists on. Sam Altman recommended regulating the industry when he spoke to the US Congress last week.

Experts say that type of warning to the government from a corporate CEO is extremely rare.

“They used to be very opposed to regulation and said, ‘Keep the government out of it,'” said Alan Mackworth, an emeritus professor of computer science at the University of British Columbia.

“Now, I think there’s an awareness that there are both short-term and long-term risks … There are huge benefits to society if we use it right, but I mean, we have to have guardrails.”

Restrictions to prevent misuse of the technology is something Mackworth hopes the government will look into.

“We’ve known about the potential of these tools for many years, but we’re just now starting to see the impact in the real world,” he said.

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner recently launched an investigation into the alleged collection and disclosure of personal information by ChatGPT without consent.

BC’s authorities, along with those of Quebec and Alberta, joined the investigation.

Lisa Beare, BC’s Minister of Citizen Services, tells CTV News she understands that AI is an issue that people and organizations around the world are grappling with.

“BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner is participating in this federal investigation into OpenAI. We are eager to see the results of that investigation and are open to discussions about how we can best complement the work that privacy commissioners are doing across the country,” Beare said in a statement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *