Quantitative AI Risk Assessments: Opportunities and Challenges

David Piorkowski, Michael Hind, John Richards

Although AI-based systems are increasingly being leveraged to provide value to organizations, individuals, and society, significant attendant risks have been identified. These risks have led to proposed regulations, litigation, and general societal concerns. As with any promising technology, organizations want to benefit from the positive capabilities of AI technology while reducing the risks. The best way to reduce risks is to implement comprehensive AI lifecycle governance where policies and procedures are described and enforced during the design, development, deployment, and monitoring of an AI system. While support for comprehensive governance is beginning to emerge, organizations often need to identify the risks of deploying an already-built model without knowledge of how it was constructed or access to its original developers. Such an assessment will quantitatively assess the risks of an existing model in a manner analogous to how a home inspector might assess the energy efficiency of an already-built home or a physician might assess overall patient health based on a battery of tests. This paper explores the concept of a quantitative AI Risk Assessment, exploring the opportunities, challenges, and potential impacts of such an approach, and discussing how it might improve AI regulations.

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