On October 30, 2023, President Joe Biden issued a landmark Executive Order to ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of AI. The Executive Order establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world, and more1. The Executive Order is the most comprehensive and ambitious action ever taken by any government to address the opportunities and challenges of AI.
Some of the key actions directed by the Executive Order are:
- Require that developers of the most powerful AI systems share their safety test results and other critical information with the U.S. government before making them public1. This will ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy before they are deployed in sensitive or high-stakes domains, such as national security, health care, or transportation.
- Develop standards, tools, and tests to help ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy1. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will set the rigorous standards for extensive red-team testing to ensure safety before public release. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will apply those standards to critical infrastructure sectors and establish the AI Safety and Security Board. The Departments of Energy (DOE) and Homeland Security (DHS) will also address AI systems’ threats to critical infrastructure, as well as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and cybersecurity risks.
- Protect against the risks of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials by developing strong new standards for biological synthesis screening1. Agencies that fund life-science projects will establish these standards as a condition of federal funding, creating powerful incentives to ensure appropriate screening and manage risks potentially made worse by AI.
- Protect Americans’ privacy by calling on Congress to pass comprehensive data privacy legislation1. The Executive Order also directs agencies to review their existing data collection and use practices and policies to ensure compliance with privacy laws and principles. Additionally, the Executive Order establishes a new interagency task force on data governance to coordinate data policy across the federal government.
- Advance equity and civil rights by requiring agencies to assess the impact of AI systems on historically disadvantaged groups and communities1. The Executive Order also directs agencies to develop guidance and best practices to prevent and mitigate bias, discrimination, and harm in AI systems. Furthermore, the Executive Order creates a new interagency council on equity in AI to promote fair and inclusive use of AI across society.
- Stand up for consumers and workers by empowering them with information and rights regarding AI systems1. The Executive Order requires agencies to develop consumer protection rules for AI products and services, such as requiring clear disclosures of AI use and limitations. The Executive Order also directs agencies to protect workers’ rights and interests in relation to AI systems, such as ensuring fair labor practices, enhancing skills training, and supporting career transitions.
- Promote innovation and competition by fostering a vibrant and diverse AI ecosystem1. The Executive Order directs agencies to increase public investment in AI research and development, expand access to data and computing resources, support public-private partnerships, encourage open and interoperable standards, and remove unnecessary barriers to innovation. The Executive Order also calls for strengthening the U.S. patent system to protect intellectual property rights and incentivize innovation.
- Advance American leadership around the world by promoting democratic values and norms in the global governance of AI1. The Executive Order directs agencies to engage with international partners and allies to develop common principles and frameworks for responsible AI. The Executive Order also calls for supporting the development of AI capabilities in partner countries, especially those that share democratic values and respect human rights.
The Executive Order on AI is a bold step for responsible innovation that reflects President Biden’s vision for building back better with technology that works for the people. By setting high standards for AI safety and security, protecting Americans’ privacy, advancing equity and civil rights, standing up for consumers and workers, promoting innovation and competition, and advancing American leadership around the world, the Executive Order aims to ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence.