Expanding Voices in AI Governance: Kevin Frazier’s Vision

Kevin Frazier, an assistant professor of law at St. Thomas University, is paving the way for more inclusive conversations in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI). Recognizing the need for global cooperation to address AI’s complex societal impacts, Frazier is spearheading an effort to create new legal educational tools for the AI sector.

In a recent interview with VentureBeat, Frazier discussed his development of an open-source legal syllabus that provides teaching materials on AI, law, and policy. He emphasized the importance of having a foundational understanding of AI models and their inputs and outputs in order to engage in meaningful discussions about AI governance.

The Modular Curriculum: A Path to Informed Debate

Frazier’s modular curriculum covers essential AI concepts, risks, and legal frameworks. Moreover, it includes lectures from scholars in the field to foster a multidisciplinary understanding of technology and its implications. Frazier hopes that this comprehensive syllabus will cultivate informed dialogue and shape effective oversight frameworks.

“We really see that so much of the policy conversation and legal conversation has been a pretty exclusive group of folks,” Frazier noted.

Frazier’s motivation to involve more voices in AI governance talks arises from his observation of the current landscape. He recognizes that the policy and legal conversation around AI has been limited to a select few. To him, it is crucial to have inclusive and representative discussions as AI has wide-ranging implications that affect various stakeholders.

“If we want to see AI be governed in a way that’s really reflective of the fact that it is going to be something that unleashes previously unknown risk, previously unknown benefits, then we really need to make sure that this is an inclusive and expansive research agenda,” Frazier emphasized.

Frazier’s open-source syllabus serves as a perpetual work in progress, aiming to build a community of scholars with the knowledge and expertise to contribute to the AI governance conversation. The syllabus is designed to provide an inclusive education for individuals from various institutions, ensuring they have the opportunity to become active participants and influential voices in shaping AI governance.

Drawing Lessons from Parallel Technologies

When envisioning effective AI governance frameworks, Frazier draws insights from overseeing other technologies that have reshaped society. He points to geoengineering (also known as climate engineering) as an example. Similar to AI, geoengineering introduces complex risks through large-scale environmental modifications with long-term implications.

Frazier notes that discussions around geoengineering, like early AI policy talks, have involved a limited set of voices. To develop effective governance frameworks for AI, it is crucial to involve technical expertise and have a multidisciplinary approach.

“The legal community and regulatory community more broadly really lack an understanding of this underlying technology,” Frazier highlights.

By fostering knowledge of AI systems’ inner workings through his open syllabus, Frazier aims to facilitate inclusive and multidisciplinary conversations that can navigate the diverse impacts and opportunities of AI.

Inclusive Participation in Global Issues

Frazier’s initiatives also respond to calls for more inclusive participation in global issues. He was inspired by a Member of Parliament from Tanzania who emphasized the importance of actively involving communities from the global south in AI governance conversations.

“To do a better job of involving more diverse communities,” Frazier acknowledges the imperative of broadening viewpoints and including communities that will be most profoundly affected by AI.

To drive progress, partnerships and business engagement are critical. Frazier’s open syllabus exemplifies his vision of collaborative partnerships between AI policy educators and institutions. By making resources widely accessible and encouraging knowledge sharing, Frazier aims to advance inclusive governance.

Furthermore, he highlights the importance of business decision-makers’ engagement in shaping AI rules. Their involvement is crucial as these discussions will have long-term impacts on operations and innovation. Collaboration among academia, industry, and policymakers is imperative for responsible and effective AI governance.

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