Biden issues executive order on artificial intelligence safeguards, transparency
By Josh Boak And Matt O'Brien, The Associated PressAutomation / Robotics Regulations & Standards Engineering AI artificial intelligence regulations transparency U.S.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday signed an ambitious executive order on artificial intelligence that seeks to balance the needs of cutting-edge technology companies with national security and consumer rights, creating an early set of guardrails that could be fortified by legislation and global agreements.
Before signing the order, Biden said AI is driving change at “warp speed” and carries tremendous potential as well as perils.
“AI is all around us,” Biden said. “To realize the promise of AI and avoid the risk, we need to govern this technology.”
The order is an initial step that is meant to ensure that AI is trustworthy and helpful, rather than deceptive and destructive. The order – which will likely need to be augmented by congressional action – seeks to steer how AI is developed so that companies can profit without putting public safety in jeopardy.
Using the Defense Production Act, the order requires leading AI developers to share safety test results and other information with the government. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is to create standards to ensure AI tools are safe and secure before public release.
The Commerce Department is to issue guidance to label and watermark AI-generated content to help differentiate between authentic interactions and those generated by software. The extensive order touches on matters of privacy, civil rights, consumer protections, scientific research and worker rights.
White House chief of staff Jeff Zients recalled Biden giving his staff a directive when formulating the order to move with urgency.
“We can’t move at a normal government pace,” Zients said the Democratic president told him. “We have to move as fast, if not faster, than the technology itself.”
The order builds on voluntary commitments already made by technology companies. It’s part of a broader strategy that administration officials say also includes congressional legislation and international diplomacy, a sign of the disruptions already caused by the introduction of new AI tools such as ChatGPT that can generate text, images and sounds.
The guidance within the order is to be implemented and fulfilled over the range of 90 days to 365 days.