Roadmapping A U.S.-German Agenda for Artificial Intelligence

Policy Paper
March 24, 2017

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to transform society with impacts as far-reaching and profound as electricity or the internal combustion engine. Policymakers have a limited window within which to grapple with foundational policy challenges posed by the first general purpose technology of the twenty-first century. This task is complicated by the fact that AI will impact almost every area of our economy and society – including areas as diverse as financial planning, policing, elections, manufacturing and transportation. 

The implications for the U.S.-German cultural, political and economic relationship will necessarily be complex. AI’s role in economy and society will cross borders, but policymakers in the United States and Germany will confront these challenges within distinct social, cultural and legal contexts. Under U.S. and German law there will be differing rules and expectations regarding aggregation, storage and utilization of data feeding into new AI-based frameworks. The utilization of AI-based technologies will also differ based on factors ranging from demographics to economic structure.

To better understand areas in which transatlantic policymakers can collaborate on understanding key policy issues in the field of AI, New America and the German Embassy in Washington, D.C. held a joint workshop to roadmap critical research areas related to artificial intelligence. The workshop brought together a diverse range of participants form academia, government, industry representatives and think tanks. The focus was on questions related to the policy, social and technological implications of AI across society. The scope was policies that provide a framework to enable socially beneficial uses of AI between now and 2035.