In a comment letter to the Biden-Harris administration, our coalition urges the federal government to consider the example of Amazon as it works to ensure new technologies, like artificial intelligence, serve the common good and not corporate interests.
Amazon is a harbinger of a dystopian technological future where corporations can run roughshod over communities, workers, small businesses, and the public. Dominating multiple markets, Amazon has initiated a race to the bottom by worsening working conditions, attacking democratic institutions, increasing emissions not only in its industry, but across the economy, lobbying for weak privacy laws, buying up innovative entrepreneurs to lockout competitors, expanding biometric surveillance, and using its monopoly power to the detriment of small businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators.
From past periods of technological innovation, we know that economic outcomes and technology itself are heavily shaped by the balance of power between different interest groups. When workers and the public have relatively less power to shape outcomes, technology is developed to drive short-term corporate profits at the expense of the common good. Today, the current imbalance in power between wealthy corporations and working people is the precondition for market forces to drive artificial intelligence toward an unbridled race for profit. The result will be catastrophic for the middle and working class, as well as for the planet. And, it will foreclose the possibility of creating transformative new technologies and scientific advances.
The public has an essential role in averting this disaster, rebalancing power, and bringing about a better future.
Read our full comment letter in response to The Biden-Harris administration Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence and the Office of Management and Budget issued Draft Guidance on agency use of artificial intelligence.