President Biden Signs Executive Order for ‘Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy’ AI

President Biden Signs Executive Order For Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy AI
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President Biden Signs Executive Order For Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy AI
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Photo Credit: Ana Lanza

The executive order is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive strategy for responsible innovation. By establishing standards to protect American citizens’ privacy, equity, and civil rights — the order aims to advance innovation and competition in the AI realm — in a way that promotes American leaders worldwide.

President Biden directed vital steps forward in the U.S.’s approach to safe, secure, and trustworthy AI.

The landmark executive order aims to ensure that America leads the AI race in the wake of new standards for safety and security in AI development. Previous actions by the administration include the work that ‘led to voluntary commitments from 15 leading companies to drive safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI.’

In the wake of advancing AI tools and applications within every industry — including music, President Biden’s Executive Order expands on several facets of innovation that apply to multiple industries and their processes. The order’s seven goals provide the standards for responsible innovation in the AI realm.

The brief is meant to set ‘new standards for AI safety and security’ to protect Americans from the potential risks of AI systems.

The order sets requirements that ‘developers of the most powerful AI systems share their safety test results and other critical information with the U.S. government’ and ‘develop standards, tools, and tests to help ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy.’

Furthermore, the President states the guidelines will protect against the risks ‘of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials’, and aid in the detection of AI-generated content and authentication of official content to ensure AI-enabled fraud and deception no longer take place.

The order also covers the establishment of an ‘advanced cybersecurity program to develop AI tools to find and fix vulnerabilities in critical software’ and developing a ‘National Security Memorandum that directs further actions on AI and security.’

Furthermore, the order highlights that ‘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 ensure AI cannot put Americans’ privacy at risk, the President prioritizes federal support ‘for accelerating the development and use of privacy-preserving techniques.’

The briefing also mandates the evaluation of ‘how agencies collect and use commercially available information’ and to develop guidelines ‘for federal agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of privacy-preserving techniques’ while finding ways to ‘strengthen privacy-preserving research and technologies.’

On the matter of AI’s influence that can lead to — and deepen — discrimination, bias, and other abuses in justice, healthcare, and housing, the President orders finding ways to ‘ensure that AI advances equity and civil rights,’ and discover avenues so ‘AI can bring real benefits to consumers.’

“Provide clear guidance to landlords, federal benefits programs, and federal contractors, address algorithmic discrimination through training, technical assistance, and coordination between the Department of Justice and Federal civil rights offices,” the briefing states, adding, “Ensure fairness throughout the criminal justice system by developing best practices on the use of AI.”

The President also shed light on how AI can be used to bring tangible consumer benefits. The goal can be achieved by advancing ‘the responsible use of AI in healthcare and the development of affordable and life-saving drugs’ and finding a way to ‘shape AI’s potential to transform education by creating resources to support educators deploying AI-enabled educational tools.’

With the changing scope of America’s jobs and workplaces in the face of AI, the order aims to mitigate the ‘dangers of increased workplace surveillance, bias, and job displacement.’

The order issues a directive to ‘produce a report on AI’s potential labor-market impacts, and study and identify options for strengthening federal support for workers facing labor disruptions, including from AI’ and also ‘develop principles and best practices to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers.’

“More AI startups raised first-time capital in the United States last year than in the next seven countries combined,” the order states.

To continue to lead the way in innovation and competition, the President has ordered a pilot of the National AI Research Resource that would 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.’

The President wants to promote a fair 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.’

On advancing American leadership abroad, the order states, “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, the President directs an expansion of ‘bilateral, multilateral, and multi-stakeholder engagements to collaborate on AI,’ the acceleration of ‘development and implementation of vital AI standards,’ and the promotion of ‘safe, responsible, and rights-affirming development and deployment of AI abroad to solve global challenges.’

Lastly, the order addresses how to ensure responsible and effective Government use of AI, stating, “To achieve the goal of delivering better results to the American people, responsible government deployment of AI and modernizing federal AI infrastructure is imperative.”

To achieve that objective successfully, the President calls for the issuance of clear standards and guidelines for agencies’ use of AI, ensuring agencies can acquire ‘specified AI products and services faster, more cheaply, and more effectively.’

The executive order also discloses a ‘government-wide AI talent surge led by the Office of Personnel Management, U.S. Digital Service, U.S. Digital Corps, and Presidential Innovation Fellowship — to accelerate the rapid hiring of AI professionals.

In conclusion, the briefing states, ‘The Administration will work with allies and partners abroad on a strong international framework to govern the development and use of AI.”