In a groundbreaking move, President Biden has issued the United States government’s first-ever regulations on artificial intelligence (AI) systems. This historic executive order, released on October 19, 2023, signifies a significant leap in the realm of AI governance. It encompasses a wide array of measures aimed at ensuring AI safety, security, equity, and responsible innovation. This comprehensive strategy seeks to establish the United States as a global leader in AI development and management.
New Standards for AI Safety and Security
The Executive Order mandates a set of standards that redefine AI safety and security. Developers of advanced AI systems, particularly those deemed high-risk, are now required to share the results of their safety testing and risk assessments with the U.S. government before these models are made public. This transparency is a monumental step in ensuring that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy.
Additionally, the National Institute of Standards and Technology will establish rigorous standards for extensive red-team testing, guaranteeing that AI systems undergo comprehensive safety evaluations before their public release. The Departments of Homeland Security and Energy will also play pivotal roles in addressing AI threats to critical infrastructure and other domains.
The document also addresses concerns related to AI’s potential involvement in engineering dangerous biological materials, emphasizing the importance of stringent standards for biological synthesis screening. Agencies funding life-science projects will require adherence to these standards, reducing the risks associated with AI.
Protecting Against AI-Enabled Fraud and Deception
To safeguard against AI-enabled fraud and deception, the Executive Order outlines standards and best practices for detecting AI-generated content and authenticating official content. This initiative, spearheaded by the Department of Commerce, will facilitate the clear labeling of AI-generated content. Federal agencies will set an example by ensuring that communications from the government are authentic, inspiring similar measures across the private sector and the international community.
Privacy Protection and Data Privacy Legislation
AI’s growing capabilities raise concerns about data privacy. To address this issue, President Biden calls on Congress to enact bipartisan data privacy legislation. This legislation will prioritize the development and implementation of privacy-preserving techniques, leveraging cutting-edge AI to train models while preserving data privacy. The National Science Foundation will fund research and technologies, promoting the adoption of privacy-preserving tools.
Federal agencies will also evaluate the collection and use of commercially available information, with a focus on personally identifiable data. Guidelines for assessing the effectiveness of privacy-preserving techniques in AI systems will further advance data protection efforts.
Advancing Equity and Civil Rights
The Executive Order emphasizes the importance of combating discrimination, bias, and other injustices that can arise from AI applications. To ensure equity and civil rights, the President directs clear guidance to prevent the use of AI algorithms for discriminatory purposes. Collaboration between the Department of Justice and Federal civil rights offices will enhance the investigation and prosecution of civil rights violations related to AI.
Supporting Workers and Promoting Innovation
AI’s impact on the workforce is a central concern. The Executive Order emphasizes the need to address job displacement, labor standards, workplace equity, and safety. Principles and best practices will be developed to mitigate the potential harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers. Additionally, a report on AI’s labor-market impacts will help identify options for supporting workers facing labor disruptions.
American Leadership Abroad
The United States acknowledges that AI’s challenges and opportunities are global. Collaboration with other nations is essential to support safe, secure, and trustworthy AI development and use worldwide. The Executive Order directs actions to expand international collaborations and to accelerate the development of vital AI standards.
Responsible Government Use of AI
AI can transform government operations, enhancing efficiency and security. However, it also poses potential risks, including discrimination. The Executive Order outlines guidelines for agencies’ use of AI, addressing rights, safety, procurement, and deployment. Efforts to hire AI professionals and provide training for employees will bolster the government’s AI capabilities.
President Biden’s Executive Order on AI safety and security marks a significant milestone in AI governance. It demonstrates a commitment to ensuring AI benefits all Americans while safeguarding their privacy, civil rights, and security. As the United States continues to lead in AI innovation and competition, this comprehensive strategy paves the way for responsible and ethical AI development.
Source: The White House