US President Biden has issued an Executive Order to help ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence (AI).
The Executive Order directs the following actions:
New standards for AI safety and security
As AI’s capabilities grow, so do its implications for the safety and security of US citizens. With this Executive Order, the President directs the most sweeping actions ever taken to protect Americans from the potential risks of AI systems:
* Require that developers of the most powerful AI systems share their safety test results and other critical information with the US government. In accordance with the Defense Production Act, the Order will require that companies developing any foundation model that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety must notify the federal government when training the model, and must share the results of all red-team safety tests.
* Develop standards, tools, and tests to help ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy. The National Institute of Standards and Technology will set the rigorous standards for extensive red-team testing to ensure safety before public release. The Department of Homeland Security will apply those standards to critical infrastructure sectors and establish the AI Safety and Security Board. The Departments of Energy and Homeland Security will also address AI systems’ threats to critical infrastructure, as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and cybersecurity risks.
* Protect against the risks of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials by developing strong new standards for biological synthesis screening. Agencies that fund life-science projects will establish these standards as a condition of federal funding, creating powerful incentives to ensure appropriate screening and manage risks potentially made worse by AI.
* Protect Americans from AI-enabled fraud and deception by establishing standards and best practices for detecting AI-generated content and authenticating official content. The Department of Commerce will develop guidance for content authentication and watermarking to clearly label AI-generated content. Federal agencies will use these tools to make it easy for Americans to know that the communications they receive from their government are authentic.
* Establish an advanced cybersecurity program to develop AI tools to find and fix vulnerabilities in critical software, building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing AI Cyber Challenge.
* Order the development of a National Security Memorandum that directs further actions on AI and security, to be developed by the National Security Council and White House Chief of Staff.
Protecting Americans’ privacy
Without safeguards, AI can put users’ privacy further at risk. AI not only makes it easier to extract, identify, and exploit personal data, but it also heightens incentives to do so because companies use data to train AI systems.
To better protect Americans’ privacy, including from the risks posed by AI, the Biden calls on Congress to pass bipartisan data privacy legislation to protect all Americans, especially children, and directs the following actions:
* Protect Americans’ privacy by prioritising federal support for accelerating the development and use of privacy-preserving techniques – including ones that use cutting-edge AI and that let AI systems be trained while preserving the privacy of the training data.
* Strengthen privacy-preserving research and technologies, such as cryptographic tools that preserve individuals’ privacy, by funding a Research Co-ordination Network to advance rapid breakthroughs and development. The National Science Foundation will also work with this network to promote the adoption of privacy-preserving technologies by federal agencies.
* Evaluate how agencies collect and use commercially available information – including information they procure from data brokers – and strengthen privacy guidance for federal agencies to account for AI risks. This work will focus in particular on commercially available information containing personally identifiable data.
* Develop guidelines for federal agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of privacy-preserving techniques, including those used in AI systems. These guidelines will advance agency efforts to protect Americans’ data.
Advancing equity and civil rights
Irresponsible uses of AI can lead to and deepen discrimination, bias, and other abuses in justice, healthcare, and housing. To ensure that AI advances equity and civil rights, Biden directs the following actions:
* Provide clear guidance to landlords, Federal benefits programs, and federal contractors to keep AI algorithms from being used to exacerbate discrimination.
* Address algorithmic discrimination through training, technical assistance, and coordination between the Department of Justice and Federal civil rights offices on best practices for investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations related to AI.
* Ensure fairness throughout the criminal justice system by developing best practices on the use of AI in sentencing, parole and probation, pretrial release and detention, risk assessments, surveillance, crime forecasting and predictive policing, and forensic analysis.
Standing up for consumers, patients, students
AI can bring real benefits to consumers – for example, by making products better, cheaper, and more widely available. But AI also raises the risk of injuring, misleading, or otherwise harming Americans. To protect consumers while ensuring that AI can make Americans better off, Biden directs the following actions:
* Advance the responsible use of AI in healthcare and the development of affordable and life-saving drugs. The Department of Health and Human Services will also establish a safety program to receive reports of – and act to remedy – harms or unsafe healthcare practices involving AI.
* Shape AI’s potential to transform education by creating resources to support educators deploying AI-enabled educational tools, such as personalised tutoring in schools.
AI is changing America’s jobs and workplaces, offering both the promise of improved productivity but also the dangers of increased workplace surveillance, bias, and job displacement. To mitigate these risks, support workers’ ability to bargain collectively, and invest in workforce training and development that is accessible to all, Biden directs the following actions:
* Develop principles and best practices to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers by addressing job displacement; labor standards; workplace equity, health, and safety; and data collection. These principles and best practices will benefit workers by providing guidance to prevent employers from undercompensating workers, evaluating job applications unfairly, or impinging on workers’ ability to organise.
* Produce a report on AI’s potential labour-market impacts, and study and identify options for strengthening federal support for workers facing labour disruptions, including from AI.
Promoting innovation and competition
The Executive Order aims to maintain the US’s lead the way in innovation and competition through the following actions:
* Catalyse AI research across the US through a pilot of the National AI Research Resource – a tool that will provide AI researchers and students access to key AI resources and data—and expanded grants for AI research in vital areas like healthcare and climate change.
* Promote a fair, open, and competitive AI ecosystem by providing small developers and entrepreneurs access to technical assistance and resources, helping small businesses commercialize AI breakthroughs, and encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to exercise its authorities.
* Use existing authorities to expand the ability of highly skilled immigrants and nonimmigrants with expertise in critical areas to study, stay, and work in the US by modernising and streamlining visa criteria, interviews, and reviews.
Advancing US leadership Abroad
AI’s challenges and opportunities are global. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue working with other nations to support safe, secure, and trustworthy deployment and use of AI worldwide. To that end, Biden directs the following actions:
* Expand bilateral, multilateral, and multistakeholder engagements to collaborate on AI. The State Department, in collaboration, with the Commerce Department will lead an effort to establish robust international frameworks for harnessing AI’s benefits and managing its risks and ensuring safety. In addition, this week, Vice President Harris will speak at the UK Summit on AI Safety, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
* Accelerate development and implementation of vital AI standards with international partners and in standards organizations, ensuring that the technology is safe, secure, trustworthy, and interoperable.
* Promote the safe, responsible, and rights-affirming development and deployment of AI abroad to solve global challenges, such as advancing sustainable development and mitigating dangers to critical infrastructure.
Responsible and effective government use of AI
AI can help government deliver better results for the American people. It can expand agencies’ capacity to regulate, govern, and disburse benefits, and it can cut costs and enhance the security of government systems. However, use of AI can pose risks, such as discrimination and unsafe decisions. To ensure the responsible government deployment of AI and modernise federal AI infrastructure, Biden directs the following actions:
* Issue guidance for agencies’ use of AI, including clear standards to protect rights and safety, improve AI procurement, and strengthen AI deployment.
* Help agencies acquire specified AI products and services faster, more cheaply, and more effectively through more rapid and efficient contracting.
* Accelerate the rapid hiring of AI professionals as part of a government-wide AI talent surge led by the Office of Personnel Management, US Digital Service, US Digital Corps, and Presidential Innovation Fellowship. Agencies will provide AI training for employees at all levels in relevant fields.
The administration will work with allies and partners abroad on a strong international framework to govern the development and use of AI. It has already consulted widely on AI governance frameworks over the past several months – engaging with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE, and the UK.