Artificial Intelligence Policy: A Primer and Roadmap

28 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2017 Last revised: 19 Oct 2017

See all articles by Ryan Calo

Ryan Calo

University of Washington - School of Law; Stanford University - Law School; Yale Law School

Date Written: August 8, 2017


Talk of artificial intelligence is everywhere. People marvel at the capacity of machines to translate any language and master any game. Others condemn the use of secret algorithms to sentence criminal defendants or recoil at the prospect of machines gunning for blue, pink, and white-collar jobs. Some worry aloud that artificial intelligence will be humankind’s “final invention.”

This essay, prepared in connection with UC Davis Law Review's 50th anniversary symposium, explains why AI is suddenly on everyone's mind and provides a roadmap to the major policy questions AI raises. The essay is designed to help policymakers, investors, technologists, scholars, and students understand the contemporary policy environment around AI at least well enough to initiate their own exploration.

Topics covered include:

• Justice and equity

• Use of force

• Safety and certification

• Privacy (including data parity); and

• Taxation and displacement of labor

In addition to these topics, the essay will touch briefly on a selection of broader systemic questions:

• Institutional configuration and expertise

• Investment and procurement • Removing hurdles to accountability; and

• Correcting mental models of AI

Keywords: artificial intelligence, robotics, policy, law, ethics

Suggested Citation

Calo, Ryan, Artificial Intelligence Policy: A Primer and Roadmap (August 8, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Ryan Calo (Contact Author)

University of Washington - School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

Stanford University - Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

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