i3 | March 11, 2018

CTA is Ready for AI

Dave Wilson
Man and woman looking at robot

With the New Year came the introduction of the AI JOBS Act of 2018. In light of all of this activity, CTA is launching initiatives aimed at growing AI-related segments of the consumer technology industry.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come to life. It was a top  trend at CES 2018, and people throughout the consumer technology industry are working on ways to incorporate AI into all kinds of products. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by lawmakers. Last year saw the creation of the bipartisan Congressional Artificial Intelligence Caucus, and then introduction of the FUTURE of  AI Act in both the House and Senate in December. With the New  Year came the introduction of the AI JOBS Act of 2018. In light of all of this activity, CTA is launching initiatives aimed at growing AI-related segments of the consumer technology industry.

The first initiative is the formation of a new working group to guide CTA’s public policy, market research and other activities related to AI. CTA is also considering creating a new technical group to see how industry standards help with implementation and acceptance of AI. 

One of the things CTA is looking at — because any potential legislation or regulation will need to address this question — is what exactly constitutes AI? Everyone has a general concept, and many have come up with their own definitions. When we start talking about possible regulations it’s important to understand exactly which products are proposed to be covered. 

For example, if a door with a motion sensor on  it automatically opens when it senses an object in front of it, is that AI? Is a thermostat that detects the temperature in a room and cycles an HVAC system on and  off to maintain a consistent temperature AI?  As the influence of AI continues to expand, the consumer technology industry will be well served to have a common understanding of the answers to these and other questions. 

And the impact of AI will clearly continue to magnify. The Artificial Intelligence Marketplace at CES featured exhibitors showing off AI solutions including big data analytics, speech recognition, learning and decision-making  products, and predictive technology. Big semiconductor companies like Intel and Qualcomm dedicated large sections of their exhibits to AI. And there were numerous conference sessions covering areas like AI’s influence on robotics, self-driving vehicles and the voice-controlled internet.

The FUTURE of AI Act will make the U.S. Department of Commerce responsible for leading government policy on AI. It will also create a federal advisory committee tasked with determining how industry and govern- ment might work together to address  AI’s impact on the U.S. workforce, individual privacy rights, innovation, competitiveness and unbiased treat- ment of individuals.

The AI JOBS Act of 2018 will  focus squarely on AI’s impact on jobs. It will require the U.S. Secretary of  Labor to produce a report on artificial intelligence and its impact on the workforce. The report will identify the industries expected to see the most growth in artificial intelligence, predict whether this growth will enhance workers’ capabilities or result in worker replacement, and report on  the expertise and education needed to develop, operate or work alongside AI over the next two decades.

As these and other government efforts to address AI emerge, CTA’s members  will work together toward industry  consensus on what AI is, what it will  mean for the future of society, and what role the government should play. Toward this end, CTA hosted discussions about AI at the CTA Technology & Standards Forum in May. 

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