AI lobbyists, and delayed electric planes

AI lobbyists, and delayed electric planes

Nathan E. Sanders is a data scientist and an affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. Bruce Schneier is a security technologist and a fellow and lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Lobbying has long been part of the give-and-take among policymakers and advocates working to balance their competing interests, but some corporate entities are adept at using legal-but-sneaky techniques for swaying rules in their favor.

AI tools can make these types of stealth strategies more widespread and effective. The natural opening for this technology is in the form of microlegislation, a term for small pieces of proposed legislation that address narrow interests.

Computer models can predict the likely consequences of proposed legislative changes, as well as the paths through which lobbyists can most effectively secure their desired outcomes, a critical part of creating an AI lobbyist.

The danger of microlegislation—a danger greatly exacerbated by AI—is that it can be used in a way that makes it difficult to know who really benefits from the law. Read the full story.

The runway for futuristic electric planes is still long

The news: The future of flight has just been delayed, for one startup at least. Today, Beta Technologies is pushing the debut of its futuristic electric aircraft that can take off and land like a helicopter. Instead, it announced plans to certify a more conventional version of its electric plane by 2025.