The United States has taken a significant step in addressing the implications of artificial intelligence (AI) with President Joe Biden signing an executive order. This order, the first of its kind, calls for new safety assessments, guidance on equity and civil rights, and research into AI’s impact on the labor market. The executive order is divided into eight key areas, including creating new safety and security standards for AI, protecting consumer privacy, advancing equity and civil rights, and supporting workers affected by AI-induced labor market disruptions.
The order also promotes innovation and competition, encourages international collaboration on AI standards, and develops guidance for federal agencies’ use and procurement of AI. This is a major step forward for the US government in regulating AI, building on voluntary commitments from leading AI companies. The order also comes before a UK-hosted AI safety summit. President Biden has emphasized the need for Congress to act, stating that the executive order represents bold action but Congress’s role is still crucial.
This executive order stipulates that large companies must share safety test results with the US government before the official release of AI systems. It also prioritizes the development of standards for AI “red-teaming,” or stress-testing the defenses and potential problems within systems. The order addresses training data for large AI systems and evaluates how agencies collect and use commercially available data, especially data involving personal identifiers.
The Biden administration is also taking initiatives to strengthen the AI workforce. Workers with AI expertise can now find relevant job openings in the federal government on AI.gov. The administration official mentioned that the “most aggressive” timing for some safety and security aspects of the order involves a 90-day turnaround, while for others, it could be closer to a year.