While recently speaking at a conference hosted by Vanderbilt University, Jen Easterly, the Director of the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) urged the development of regulations around the use of artificial intelligence (AI). According to reporting by Reuters, Easterly recalled the lessons learned from the lack of security in the design of the Internet and software, and the relationship between social media platforms and mental health issues. According to Reuters, Easterly commented that “the failure to identify risks before past technologies were widely deployed has left policy-makers and cyber defenders scrambling to address the worst threats from those developments.”

She further stated, “AI will be the most powerful capability of our time, and I believe it will also be the most powerful weapon of our time, and we cannot afford to make the same mistakes with this epoch-defining technology that we’ve made with the Internet and with software and with social media.”

She emphasized that China has already “established guardrails to ensure that AI represents Chinese values, and the U.S. should do the same” which provides the U.S. “an opportunity to govern AI in a way that embeds democratic values in its use and its deployment.”

There are so many lessons to be learned from the past few decades of the development of different technologies, and how the use of innovative technology has unintentional consequences. We need to learn from those lessons and not repeat them.