Biden Regulation AI

8 Major Highlights of President Biden’s Executive Order on AI

The executive order covers a wide spectrum of concerns, including the development of new standards for AI security, protection of the privacy of American citizens, and promoting fairness and civil rights in AI algorithms.
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Introduction

The United States has been under the global spotlight as it grapples with the urgent need to regulate artificial intelligence (AI). President Biden’s Executive Order on AI is an attempt to solve the issue of AI.

As a country home to many of the world’s leading AI companies and cutting-edge technological advancements, the international community has eagerly awaited concrete steps from the U.S. government.

President Joe Biden’s recent executive order on AI has been met with optimism and is considered a significant leap forward.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the executive order’s key provisions and explore its implications on AI regulation, while also acknowledging the global context of AI governance efforts.

“I think the White House has done a really good, really comprehensive job. They used an interesting combination of techniques to put something together that I’m personally optimistic will move the dial in the right direction.”

~Lee Tiedrich, who studies AI policy as a distinguished faculty fellow at Duke University’s Initiative for Science & Society

She says it’s a “creative” package of initiatives that works within the reach of the government’s executive branch, acknowledging that it can neither enact legislation (that’s Congress’s job) nor directly set rules (that’s what the federal agencies do)

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The Global AI Regulatory Landscape

Before we delve into the details of President Biden’s executive order, it’s essential to understand the broader global context of AI regulation.

The United States is not alone in its pursuit of comprehensive AI governance. Several major regulatory initiatives are simultaneously underway in different parts of the world:

European Union (EU): The EU is in the final stages of adopting the AI Act, which is expected to become law this year or early next. The AI Act bans certain AI applications deemed to have unacceptable risks and establishes oversight mechanisms for high-risk AI systems.

China: China has rapidly adopted several laws related to AI recommender systems and generative AI, indicating its commitment to regulating AI applications.

Other Nations: Countries such as Canada, Brazil, and Japan are also actively exploring AI regulation, each tailoring their approach to address specific national concerns.

Read More: What are the Key Regulatory Changes by US in the Expanded Ban to China?

8 Major Highlights of President Biden’s Executive Order on AI

While the final text of the executive order has not been released yet, a fact sheet offers insight into its core components:

1. Developing New Standards for AI Security

One of the cornerstones of the executive order is the development of new standards for AI security. AI companies must share security test results with the federal government before public release. The U.S. Department of Commerce will create a watermark mechanism to identify AI-generated content.

2. Protecting the Privacy of the American People

To safeguard the privacy of American citizens, the executive order mandates the development of guidelines that federal agencies can use to evaluate the privacy technologies used by AI. This move addresses concerns about data privacy and the responsible use of AI in government agencies.

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3. Promoting Fairness and Civil Rights

The order underlines the importance of promoting fairness and civil rights in AI. Employers and federal contractors will receive guidance to ensure that AI algorithms do not exacerbate discrimination.

Furthermore, best practices for AI’s role in the judicial system, including its use in sentencing, risk assessment, and crime prediction, will be developed.

4. Protecting the Interests of Consumers, Patients, and Students

The Ministry of Health and Human Services will play a critical role in evaluating AI-related potentially harmful medical care. Actions will be taken to rectify any identified issues, and resources will be created to guide educators in the responsible use of AI tools. This provision aims to ensure the well-being and safety of consumers, patients, and students in an AI-driven world.

5. Supporting Workers

The executive order acknowledges the potential impact of AI on the labor market and instructs the government to study how federal agencies can assist workers affected by AI developments. This highlights the importance of workforce development and adaptation in an era of technological advancement.

6. Promoting Innovation and Competition

The U.S. will increase research funding in healthcare and climate change to stay ahead in AI. It seeks to attract skilled immigrant talent, urging them to stay and contribute to AI progress.

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7. Enhancing U.S. Leadership in AI Technology

In a global context, the executive order emphasizes cooperation with international partners to promote AI standards worldwide. This collaborative approach acknowledges the interconnected nature of AI and the importance of aligning global AI standards.

8. Ensuring Responsible and Effective Government Use of AI

The order aims to improve government AI use with guidelines for purchasing and using AI systems. It pushes for faster hiring of professional staff to ensure responsible AI utilization in the public sector.

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Challenges and Unanswered Questions

While the executive order is praised as a significant step in the right direction, there are still several critical questions:

Regulation of AI Use: Some experts are waiting for the final text of the order to see whether it contains stronger regulations regarding AI use, particularly in law enforcement.

Biometric Technologies: It remains unclear whether the privacy and data protection provisions of the order explicitly apply to biometric technologies, such as facial recognition.

Deepfake Watermarking: Although the order calls for content authentication and watermarking, it does not address how watermarking applies to deepfake text, a significant challenge that remains unaddressed.

Governance of AI Datasets: The need for clearer governance rules for AI datasets is emphasized as an ongoing concern, as AI systems are heavily reliant on the quality and fairness of the data they are trained on.

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Conclusion

President Biden’s executive order on AI is undoubtedly a significant development in the world of AI regulation.

Experts are looking forward to the full text of the order for potential stronger regulations and clarifications. The decentralized approach acknowledges the diverse AI applications and the complexity of regulation. The U.S.’s proactive stance aligns with global efforts for responsible AI use. The executive order sets a strong precedent in addressing AI’s impact.

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