Biden Approval:President Biden announced on Monday his administration’s commitment to establishing comprehensive administrative measures for the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI). These measures aim to ensure the responsible growth and use of AI, set new standards for safety testing of AI products, and create a federal “pressure test” for large systems, which will be led by the White House. Jeff Zients, the head of the Executive Order, made these significant announcements.
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Biden Approval: Months in the Making
The Executive Order, a product of months of work, showcases the White House’s apprehensions regarding the possible hazards posed by unchecked technology to national security, the economy, public health, and privacy. This announcement comes shortly after a major international leadership summit on AI held in London, in which Vice President Harris participated.
Biden Approval: Red Teaming by Tech Companies
Currently, tech companies conduct their own “red teaming” of products – they subject them to conditional tests to identify potential issues, such as misinformation or bias. The White House has previously worked with major developers to create a series of voluntary commitments to release their systems for third-party audits before deployment.
However, under President Biden’s Executive Order, the government will need new standards, tools, and tests for red teaming. This includes companies informing the government and sharing red teaming results for products that could pose significant risks before deployment. The power to do this stems from the Defense Production Act, a law with roots dating back to the Korean War. It has been broadened under presidential authority, especially when matters of national security are on the line.
It was reported that, Zients says, “We cannot trust companies to grade their own work as it may not be completely ethical and so what we can do is set certain standards on how companies in private sectors can work with AI and these private companies should follow these standards in order to uphold the structure of society”
Enabling Government Control over Emerging AI
Biden Approval: While the Defense Production Act grants the White House the power to have some control over new corporate products, the overall enforcement capability is still lacking. White House officials say legislation is required to make these rules a reality.
The White House sees opportunities in AI, but it is also concerned about the risks. Biden, who remarked on the Executive Order on Monday, has said that AI capabilities help in developing new drugs and treatments for cancer. However, the White House has also expressed concerns about drawbacks, such as “deepfake” technology, which can deceive the elderly.
“AI can be used with data – your personal data – to put social media in hyperdrive, particularly when it comes to those looking to buy homes. This is unacceptable,” Zients noted.
The new order instructs agencies to look into how agencies can leverage AI in a positive manner, such as developing new medications and assisting teachers in classrooms, but also requires agencies to establish standards to ensure that AI does not exacerbate discriminatory practices, whether in housing or lending approvals.
Boosting the Government Workforce with AI Skills
Biden Approval: The broad nature of the order means that the federal government must be prepared for all changes related to AI. A senior White House official stated that many agencies already have employees nominated as leaders in AI who have been involved in the process of drafting the Executive Order. However, officials in the White House, including Zients, say that they still need to hire more specialized talent.
Zients mentioned that AI’s thinking and calculative capabilies are reported to have been doubling every 3-4 months.
The order also highlights the importance of streamlining visa processes to make it easier for foreign individuals with AI expertise to come to the United States to persue further education and AI-related work.
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