President Biden's recent executive order on artificial intelligence addresses a wide array of concerns about the nascent technology: risks to national security, the use of deceptive AI-generated content, market concentration, and much else. To help sort through the meaning and implications of these various directives, we asked seven experts for their initial reactions.
There is, at present, a conceptual mismatch between the strategies of accumulation that are dominant in the digital economy and the basic assumptions that underlie the legal regimes tasked with regulating accumulation. To begin to address this discrepancy, legal actors in these regimes need a better understanding of how companies translate social data into profits and power.
Both law and technology have played a foundational role in constructing, maintaining, and extending neoliberal modes of governance. Technological implementations have given new life to the longstanding neoliberal separation of economic and political domains, and legal methods that have facilitated the neoliberal political economy have also enabled new technologies. As critiques of the centrality of neoliberal economic logic gain traction, we must take care that such work does not simply clear the path for an emerging hegemony of neoliberal computational logic. Instead, we must be attentive to proponents of the epistemic and political dominance of computational mechanisms, and we must critique them on similar grounds and with similar urgency. In addition, theories of the legal programs and methods required to democratize the economy must not ignore the role digital technologies may play in achieving these goals.
Rather than seeing data as person-like or property-like entity, egalitarians should focus on data relations: the way data’s collection and use puts people (or entities) into relation with one another.