President Biden’s Executive Order Establishes Enhanced AI Safety and Security Protocols

by | Jan 13, 2024

President Joe Biden has taken a big step in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) by issuing an order that sets new standards for the safety and security of this rapidly advancing technology. This order aims to ensure that AI is developed and used responsibly, addressing concerns about potential risks and ethical implications.

One important part of the order involves evaluating how agencies collect and use commercially available information. Congress will play a vital role in this evaluation, examining the potential for algorithmic discrimination and its impact on different sectors. By scrutinizing data collection practices, the government aims to make sure that AI algorithms are fair and unbiased, promoting equal opportunities for everyone.

The order also emphasizes transparency and reliability in the government’s use of AI. As AI becomes more prevalent in content creation, it is crucial to establish trust in the source of information. The recent controversy surrounding Sports Illustrated, where AI-generated content was published without disclosure, highlights the importance of transparency. This breach of trust led to the removal of CEO Ross Levinsohn, showing the significance of ethical AI practices.

To enhance AI safety and security, the order establishes an AI Safety and Security Board. This board will address critical threats posed by AI and work towards reducing risks. By fostering collaboration between government agencies and the private sector, the board aims to proactively tackle emerging challenges and ensure responsible AI development.

Recognizing the impact of AI on the job market, the order calls for a study to examine its effects on workforce training efforts and labor markets. This study will help identify areas where reskilling and adaptation are necessary, ensuring that workers and industries can thrive in the AI era. By understanding the implications of AI on employment, the government can better prepare individuals and communities for the changing job landscape.

In addition, the order promotes innovation and protects consumer privacy. Companies that develop models posing a risk to national security will be required to notify the government and share safety test results. This proactive approach aims to safeguard sensitive information and prevent potential misuse of AI technology.

The order shares similarities with the European Union’s upcoming comprehensive EU AI Act, highlighting the global need to promote and regulate the safe use of AI. To encourage widespread participation, the order also allocates resources to smaller developers, leveling the playing field and encouraging diverse perspectives in AI development.

However, challenges remain despite the progress made by the order. Phishing emails have increased significantly since the launch of ChatGPT in 2022. As AI becomes more sophisticated, cybercriminals are finding new ways to exploit its vulnerabilities. Strengthening cybersecurity measures will be crucial in countering these threats and ensuring the safe use of AI.

Furthermore, the government may face difficulties in using private sector software if it cannot adequately explain its functionality and ensure the absence of discriminatory issues. As AI technologies become more complex, understanding how they work is essential to maintain public trust and prevent unintended biases.

The order also emphasizes the acquisition of AI products and services by government agencies in a more efficient manner. By streamlining procurement processes, the government aims to effectively leverage AI technologies and improve public services.

Despite concerns of another AI winter, where interest and funding in AI may decline, experts like Deven Desai, an associate professor, believe that the rise of AI presents an opportunity for workers and industries to adapt and acquire new skills. By embracing the potential benefits of AI and supporting continued innovation, the government can help prevent a decline in AI research and development.

In conclusion, President Joe Biden’s executive order to establish new standards for AI safety and security is a significant step towards responsible AI development and use. By addressing concerns such as algorithmic discrimination, transparency, and reliability, the government aims to ensure that AI technologies are developed and used ethically. With the collaboration of Congress, private sector stakeholders, and global participation, the United States can pave the way for a future where AI benefits society while minimizing risks.