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President Biden Issues an Executive Order on AI Safeguards

President Biden Issues an Executive Order on AI Safeguards

Ivana Shteriova
President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order demanding strong safety and security standards and regulations for the AI industry. The Executive Order also introduces new customer and worker protections and provides extensive guides for federal agencies on how to supervise and control rapidly growing AI technologies.

In accordance with the Defense Production Act, the order requires that developers building powerful AI technologies share their safety test results and other relevant information with the government before releasing it to the public. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is in charge of establishing standards and determining whether AI systems and tools are safe for public use.

The Department of Commerce is responsible for issuing guidance related to labeling and watermarking AI content to “protect Americans from AI-enabled fraud and deception.” The order also covers privacy protection for the general public, including vulnerable groups like patients and students, consumer privacy, civil and worker rights, and scientific research.

Federal agencies have between 90 and 365 days to implement the order’s to-do lists, with those related to safety and security having the tightest deadlines.

AI has the power to change entire industries, ultimately affecting the American economy and national security. For these reasons, Biden urged his staff to make AI-related questions a top priority. Jeff Zients, the White House chief of staff, told reporters that Biden said, “We can’t move at a normal government pace. We have to move as fast, if not faster than the technology itself.”

The biggest technology companies have voluntarily implemented some strategies to develop safe and secure AI systems even before Biden signed the order. Still, the ongoing AI revolution comes with potential dangers that are hard to control, including the spread of misinformation and the rising number of scammers who use AI to commit various crimes.

Biden believes that the government failed to address the risks associated with social media on time, resulting in deteriorating mental health among the US youth. The president doesn’t want the same mistake to happen with AI development. While AI can deliver innovative solutions across multiple important sectors, including cancer research and climate change, its negative effects could be just as impactful.

According to Biden, the new Executive Order addresses those challenges and sets a solid foundation for building and utilizing AI systems responsibly while promoting innovation and advancing American leadership globally.

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