In this paper we outline a proposal for improving the governance of
artificial intelligence (AI) by investing in government capacity to
systematically measure and monitor the capabilities and impacts of AI systems.
If adopted, this would give governments greater information about the AI
ecosystem, equipping them to more effectively direct AI development and
deployment in the most societally and economically beneficial directions. It
would also create infrastructure that could rapidly identify potential threats
or harms that could occur as a consequence of changes in the AI ecosystem, such
as the emergence of strategically transformative capabilities, or the
deployment of harmful systems.
We begin by outlining the problem which motivates this proposal: in brief,
traditional governance approaches struggle to keep pace with the speed of
progress in AI. We then present our proposal for addressing this problem:
governments must invest in measurement and monitoring infrastructure. We
discuss this proposal in detail, outlining what specific things governments
could focus on measuring and monitoring, and the kinds of benefits this would
generate for policymaking. Finally, we outline some potential pilot projects
and some considerations for implementing this in practice.