On the 30th of October, 2023, President Biden issued an Executive Order that defines a new era in the management of artificial intelligence (AI) — one that focuses on ethical frameworks and responsible usage. This article distills the multifaceted approach of the Executive Order, designed to ensure that AI development serves the American public and sustains U.S. leadership on the global stage.
New Standards for AI Safety and Security
Recognizing the burgeoning impact of artificial intelligence on national well-being, President Biden’s Executive Order enacts robust measures to ensure the safety and security of AI applications. The directive encompasses the following key actions:
- Mandatory Transparency for High-Risk AI: Developers crafting AI systems that pose significant risks must disclose safety test results and vital details to the U.S. government. This mandate applies to foundation models that threaten national security, economic stability, or public health.
- Rigorous Safety Standards: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is tasked with establishing comprehensive safety standards, including extensive red-team testing prior to AI systems’ public deployment.
- AI Security in Critical Infrastructure: The Department of Homeland Security will oversee the adherence to these standards within vital sectors, establishing the AI Safety and Security Board in the process.
- Protection from AI-Engineered Threats: New stringent standards will be developed to prevent AI from being misused to create harmful biological materials. Life-science funding agencies will enforce these standards to mitigate risks exacerbated by AI.
- AI-Enabled Fraud Countermeasures: The Department of Commerce will set forth guidelines for authenticating content and watermarking to identify AI-generated content. This initiative aims to assure the authenticity of government communication and to encourage private sector and international adoption of similar practices.
- Cybersecurity Enhancement through AI: An advanced cybersecurity program will be established to utilize AI in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in essential software, augmenting the Biden-Harris Administration’s AI Cyber Challenge.
- National Security Memorandum on AI: The President orders the formulation of a memorandum that will instruct the military and intelligence community on the safe, ethical, and proficient use of AI, as well as on strategies to counteract the military use of AI by adversarial forces.
These strategies represent unprecedented government action to advance AI safety and solidify the United States’ position at the forefront of AI technology governance.
Protecting Americans’ Privacy
Privacy concerns are pivotal, with the administration advocating for:
- The advancement of technologies that preserve privacy.
- Stringent data handling regulations for federal entities.
Advancing Equity and Civil Rights
To prevent AI from reinforcing discrimination, the order mandates:
- Equitable AI application guidelines in sectors like housing and employment.
- Joint efforts to address AI-related civil rights breaches.
- Fair AI deployment in the criminal justice realm.
Standing Up for Consumers, Patients, and Students
The directive includes measures to:
- Leverage AI in healthcare for improved, cost-effective treatments.
- Apply AI in education to enhance learning.
The focus is on mitigating AI’s impact on employment by:
- Developing principles to protect workers’ rights in an evolving job market.
- Reviewing AI’s effects on employment and suggesting federal aid for impacted workers.
Promoting Innovation and Competition
To preserve its competitive edge, the U.S. will:
- Invest in AI research infrastructures like the National AI Research Resource.
- Support AI startups and innovators.
- Retain international AI talent.
Advancing American Leadership Abroad
The order articulates a vision for global AI collaboration through:
- Bilateral and multilateral partnerships.
- Synchronized AI standards with international allies.
- Global challenges tackled via AI, such as sustainability efforts.
Ensuring Responsible and Effective Government Use of AI
For AI to serve the public effectively, the directive suggests:
- Tailored AI application principles for agencies.
- Streamlined AI tech acquisition.
- Initiatives to recruit AI expertise into the government.
The Biden Administration’s assertive move towards a well-rounded AI policy marks a pivotal moment for AI governance. Aligning U.S. policy with global initiatives, America is set to lead the charge in the ethical development of AI. As this strategy takes shape, ongoing discourse and legislative action will be crucial in defining a secure AI future.