E.O. on A.I.

Over the last several months, I have written a bunch of articles about the infiltration of artificial intelligence into our lives. It is certainly a powerful tool and has enhanced our lives in many ways – but, like most technology, it can also be harmful. And as is often the case with technology advancing, its regulation lags behind.

Well, last month, President Biden signed an Executive Order creating new standards for safety and privacy protections over artificial intelligence. It is a move the White House believes will safeguard Americans’ information, promote innovation and competition, and advance U.S. leadership in the industry.

Using prior voluntary commitments from some of the leading tech companies on the safe and secure development of AI as a foundation, the Executive Order is intended to build on those commitments. President Biden called the measure “the most significant action any government anywhere in the world has ever taken on AI safety, security and trust.”

“We’re going to see more technological change in the next 10, maybe the next five years, than we’ve seen in the last 50 years,” the President continued. “And that’s a fact. And the most consequential technology of our time, artificial intelligence, is accelerating that change. It’s going to accelerate it at warp speed. AI is all around us.”

The standards established under the EO will be a condition of developers of AI systems seeking federal funding. One obligation is that developers are obligated to share their safety test results with the federal government. According to the White House, this is already a requirement under the Defense Production Act, which mandates that companies developing a model that could pose a risk to national security, national public health or the national economic security, to notify the federal government and share the results.

The administration also aims to protect against the risk of using AI to create dangerous biological materials by having the National Institute of Standards and Technology develop standards for biological synthesis screening. The Department of Homeland Security will then apply those standards to critical infrastructure sectors and establish an AI Safety and Security Board. The Department of Energy will work with DHS to address threats to infrastructure as well as chemical, biological and other types of risks.

The President reiterated that “one thing is clear — to realize the promise of AI and avoid the risk, we need to govern this technology. There’s no other way around it, in my view. It must be governed.” As evidence, he specifically mentioned “deepfakes,” or fabricated videos that mimic a person’s likeness and voice, appearing to show that person saying and doing something he or she never did. “I’ve watched one of me. I said, ‘When the hell did I say that?’” he exclaimed, to laughs.

The Executive Order is intended to be a bandage to temporarily regulate AI, but the President will still pursue various bipartisan permanent legislation with Congress. Until then, a senior administration official told reporters the EO “has the force of law,” and they’ll be using executive powers “pretty fulsomely” to enforce it.

Privacy is another goal of the order. Guidelines will be developed to ensure agencies collecting and using commercially available information will keep that information secure. Privacy-preserving technology and research, like cryptography tools, will also be strengthened.

The White House says it consulted on AI governance frameworks 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.

I’m going to learn how to dance using AI because I heard it has algorithm.

The following two tabs change content below.

Reg P. Wydeven

Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney at McCarty Law LLP
Hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps from a young age, Reg’s practice primarily consists of advising individuals on estate planning, estate settlement and elder law matters. As Reg represents clients in matters like guardianship proceedings and long-term care admissions, he feels grateful to be able to offer families thorough legal help in their time of need.

Latest posts by Reg P. Wydeven (see all)