The Gradient
The Gradient: Perspectives on AI
Divyansh Kaushik: The Realities of AI Policy

Divyansh Kaushik: The Realities of AI Policy

On why AI and nuclear weapons are not the same, what developing (AI) policy looks like, and the ever-present AI governance / innovation tradeoff.

In episode 94 of The Gradient Podcast, Daniel Bashir speaks to Divyansh Kaushik.

Divyansh is the Associate Director for Emerging Technologies and National Security at the Federation of American Scientists where his focus areas include, amongst other things, AI policy, STEM immigration, and US-China strategic competition. He holds a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University, where he focused on designing reliable AI systems that align with human values. In addition to his advocacy work on Capitol Hill, he also played a key role in establishing the Congressional Graduate Research and Development Caucus. He is a frequent contributor to leading publications, including Vox, National Defense Magazine, The Dispatch, Daily Caller, and Forbes.

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  • (00:00) Intro

  • (02:20) Divyansh intro/background

  • (06:00) Zachary Lipton Appreciation Session ( + advice from Prof Lipton)

  • (08:00) How Divyansh got involved in policy

  • (11:30) What does policy work look like? Divyansh’s early experiences

  • (15:42) AI policy issues, divides, party lines

  • (19:15) Bringing AI talent into the US

  • (26:45) US/China saber rattling, impact of Xi Jinping’s presidency

  • (33:49) China’s AI regulations, CCP motivations, China’s disadvantages in AI and benefits of the US policy process

  • (42:42) Trading off AI governance and stifling innovation

  • (51:17) AI governance comments from Jeremy Howard / Connor Leahy / Andrew Maynard, regulating use vs basic technology, limits on scaling

  • (1:01:30) Articulating and communicating the issues for AI governance

  • (1:03:10) Existential risk concerns in AI governance, theories of change

  • (1:10:15) How can AI researchers/practitioners better communicate with policymakers?

  • (1:16:57) Outro


The Gradient
The Gradient: Perspectives on AI
Deeply researched, technical interviews with experts thinking about AI and technology. Hosted, recorded, researched, and produced by Daniel Bashir.