AI’s Wide Open: A.I. Technology and Public Policy

26 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2020

See all articles by Lauren Rhue

Lauren Rhue

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business

Anne L. Washington

NYU Steinhardt

Date Written: Jul 4, 2020


Artificial intelligence promises predictions and data analysis to support efficient solutions for emerging problems. Yet, quickly deploying AI comes with a set of risks. Premature artificial intelligence may pass internal tests but has little resilience under normal operating conditions. This Article will argue that regulation of early and emerging artificial intelligence systems must address the management choices that lead to releasing the system into production. First, we present examples of premature systems in the Boeing 737 Max, the 2020 coronavirus pandemic public health response, and autonomous vehicle technology. Second, the analysis highlights relevant management practices found in our examples of premature AI. Our analysis suggests that redundancy is critical to protecting the public interest. Third, we offer three points of context for premature AI to better assess the role of management practices. AI in the public interest should: 1) include many sensors and signals; 2) emerge from a broad range of sources; and 3) be legible to the last person in the chain. Finally, this Article will close with a series of policy suggestions based on this analysis. As we develop regulation for artificial intelligence, we need to cast a wide net to identify how problems develop within the technologies and through organizational structures.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, regulation, Boeing, self-driving cars, pandemic technology

JEL Classification: I18, L5, O32

Suggested Citation

Rhue, Lauren and Washington, Anne, AI’s Wide Open: A.I. Technology and Public Policy (Jul 4, 2020). Boston University Journal of Science and Technology Law, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2020, Available at SSRN:

Lauren Rhue

University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States

Anne Washington (Contact Author)

NYU Steinhardt ( email )

New York University
Steinhardt School
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

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