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How Open-Source Software Shapes AI Policy

This article focuses on the role of open-source software (OSS) in the adoption and use of AI and machine learning and argues that this critical infrastructure is not subject to adequate oversight. The significance of OSS is clear: it helps speed AI adoption, reduce AI bias through means such as open-source explainable AI tools, and can improve tech sector competitiveness. However, OSS tools also carry risks, namely reducing competitiveness and giving a small number of technology companies an outsized role in determining AI standards. This paper contends that increasing oversight of OSS tools is a critical step in emerging efforts to define fair and responsible use of AI.