Carter raised concerns about artificial intelligence in light of China’s wide use of AI facial recognition and other surveillance technologies.
“People are naturally and rightfully concerned,” Carter said. “For this to be successful we have to have buy-in, if you will, from the general public. We need them to trust this.
Carter stressed that he wanted government not to have a “strong” role, but said he understood government will have to play a regulatory role.
“The benefits of AI are huge. There are risks, there is no doubt about it. And we need to understand and know how we’re going to manage those risks, ”Carter said.
Carter acknowledged that finding support for increased regulation might be hard to find among the GOP caucus, however.
The European Union implemented its own privacy law in 2018, but concerns about lack of enforcement remained. The United States lags behind Europe on privacy, said Terrell McSweeny, Federal Trade Commission commissioner from 2014 to 2018 and current partner of Covington & Burling LLP on Tuesday.
Carter also said he was determined to work with the Biden administration on technology issues. Working with the EU can help alleviate fears about AI, he said.
“We have to work with the European Union,” Carter said. “Russia and China are not our friends. There are a lot of good things that can come out of AI … but there are also a lot of bad things. We have to overcome this fear … and we have to move on.
Panelists at the event called for a more unified approach to regulating privacy. A technological alliance between the EU and the United States faces major obstacles, with the two entities disagree on some key political issues.
“That doesn’t mean we have to find the exact same regulatory frameworks globally,” McSweeny said. “I hope that because the new administration is really committed to working with our allies, we can reset the conversation with Europe a bit. We’re at a sufficiently early stage, especially when it comes to AI, that we can start to put some of these ideas together. “