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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

The Case for Big Action to Regulate AI

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Illustration shows a futuristic cyborg holding a digital interpretation of the scales of justice in its outstretched hand.

Credit: Getty Images

In technology circles, people balk at the mere mention of government regulation. Naysayers argue it interferes with innovation and is a bad byproduct of big government. But history tells a different story. Transparent, accountable and expert oversight—even when implemented late or ineffectively at first—has proven to be an important part of scaling an economy.

For better or worse, regulation is a necessary and proven boundary condition of capitalism. So why does the topic of regulation ignite such a visceral reaction, especially as it relates to what might be humankind's biggest technological leap yet—artificial intelligence?

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