Alex Moltzau 莫战

Feb 19, 2020

3 min read
Photo by — @onevagabond

A Note on AI Strategies

The Practical Side of Strategy

When I walk into an AI company I have not seen many directly use a strategy or tout it in front of them in any way, however it seems some large companies with the resources do. This is not a complete observation of course, however I find it peculiar that national strategies in actuality means so little in practice, nor have I heard few developers talk of any frameworks relating to ‘Trustworthy AI’ or other ethics considerations as proposed by the EU.

Then again it could be that it is meant to be ‘high-level strategy’ for those who work or traffic in these type of forms of communication. If countries meet, vigorously look at each other strategies, and commend each other on the progress or lack thereof. Then perhaps these strategies work in their ways, such that they become brought into actuality or being by those who may benefit from the propositions presented. It seems more likely that quotes from various strategies will be seen brought forward in other strategic document (when you’re into strategy…) as such it becomes a referral from one person/document to another in recognition of the work prior.

One such example is the reference in the Norwegian AI strategy to the Norwegian strategy for data centres. It is of course great that we have both, yet they link together somehow, intertwined to show the connected infrastructural investments as well as the possible regulations that can be made out or is being made up to appease a given industry to invest. Instead other neighbours have people hired to directly work to implement these strategies.

There is certainly a difference from announcing a challenge to implementing a challenge coordinated over time. AuroraAI is an interesting example of how there is an attempt to coordinate different AI initiatives over time within a country. So far in quite a pragmatic way one thing that must be noted is that few things happen with a document unused, if it becomes nothing more than a note for a policy of possibilities instead of a policy of actualities then the move to create such a policy seem only to the appeasement or forwarding the politicians involved and their renown within their established circles.

How much is a political mandate worth through the mention of strategy or national investments in theory? Hard to say, however interesting to think about and observe how these two strategies are being executed in conjunction with the government rather than just reading the words on the paper.

Whether these government strategies are meant for action or political pondering remains to be seen. I certainly will do my best to work for the first rather than the latter to be the case, yet I do think it requires both in parallel to be realised fully or to go beyond the expectations of the document.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 260. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days. My current focus for 100 days 200–300 is national and international strategies for artificial intelligence.

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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