(SloanReviewMIT.edu) The Biden administration is inheriting a crisis in the regulation of technology. While other policy decisions will surely have a more immediate impact on the economy and how it recovers from recent body blows, the new administration’s response to calls to restrain Silicon Valley’s disruptive tendencies could, in the long term, determine the ultimate course of several key industries.
One of the questions faced by the new administration includes quantum computing:
Will certain new applications of facial recognition, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence require preapproval by government agencies to ensure that they don’t discriminate, intentionally or otherwise?
The answer to any one of these questions could alter the pace and trajectory of technology innovation. And the issue is not merely domestic. High-tech products and services are taking center stage in international trade disputes with key partners and competitors alike, notably the European Union, China, and Korea.
Author Larry Downes (who has written five books on disruptive innovation’s economic, social, and legal impacts on business) suggests: “My advice to the new administration is to start with what has worked, not just in the past few decades but over the past two centuries. That means, first and foremost, putting down the pitchforks and toning down the rhetoric. Policy makers must instead return to collecting real evidence and dispassionately weighing pros and cons before intervening.”
Five basic principles that do just that:
1. Don’t regulate in haste.
2. Let the technology regulate where possible.
3. Intervene only when the public interest is truly at stake.
4. Narrowly tailor remedies to measurable harms.
5. Sunset everything.