Understanding the U.S. Strategy on AI: Executive Order and New Initiatives

Siyanna Lilova

CEO of CuratedAI


November 6, 2023

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10 min

The U.S. administration has recently taken significant steps to address the challenges and opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI). Through President Biden's Executive Order and a series of initiatives led by Vice President Harris, the government is laying down a framework for the safe and responsible use of AI. This blog post aims to provide an overview of the Executive Order's contents and detail the initiatives announced by the Vice President during her visit to the United Kingdom. These efforts mark a concerted effort to ensure that AI development and deployment are in line with democratic values and the public interest, balancing innovation with rights and safety. Join us as we break down these policies and their implications for the future of AI in the U.S. and beyond.

A Closer Look into President Biden's Executive Order on AI

President Joe Biden recently signed an Executive Order that could shape the landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the United States. This pivotal move aims to address the various challenges and opportunities presented by AI technologies. Here's a deep dive into the specifics of the order and what it means for the future of AI.

Key Aspects of the Executive Order

The order comprises several measures and initiatives designed to foster an environment where AI can thrive responsibly and ethically:

AI Safety and Security Measures

- AI developers working on national security or public safety must submit safety and test results to relevant federal agencies.

- "Red-team" exercises are mandated to identify potential AI vulnerabilities, an initiative spearheaded by NIST.

- Committees comprising multiple stakeholders will recommend safety standards for AI systems.

Enhancements to Privacy Protections

- The order calls upon Congress to enact comprehensive privacy legislation with bipartisan support.

- It promotes AI technologies that can utilize personal data for learning purposes without compromising individual privacy.

Equity and Civil Rights Safeguards

- Guidelines will be established to prevent discriminatory outcomes from AI in housing, employment, and criminal justice.

- The OSTP is responsible for examining AI's impact on civil rights.

Consumer, Patient, and Student Protections

- Safety programs are encouraged for AI in healthcare, focusing on harm prevention and accuracy.

- Protections against deceptive AI practices in education and consumer markets are set to be reinforced.

Worker Support Initiatives

- The potential job displacement effects of AI are acknowledged, with a call for ethical AI use in the workplace.

- Principles for worker-centric AI development are to be established, focusing on privacy and surveillance concerns.

Promotion of AI Innovation and Competition

- The order seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in AI through ongoing support for research and development.

- It aims to foster competition and innovation by supporting small AI businesses and startups.

International AI Collaboration

- International cooperation on AI development and policymaking is encouraged.

- The order emphasizes the promotion of shared democratic values in the international AI arena.

Responsible Government Adoption of AI

- AI technologies used by the government must be ethical, responsible, and serve the public interest.

- Federal agencies are directed to adopt principles that promote trustworthy AI in government operations.

The Road Ahead

The Executive Order on AI represents a significant step towards responsible AI governance. By addressing safety, security, privacy, and equity concerns, the U.S. government is looking to set a global standard for AI that respects human rights, promotes societal well-being, and maintains economic competitiveness. The implications of this order are far-reaching, affecting not only AI developers and users but also the general public. It's a call to action for better governance of technology that's becoming increasingly integrated into our daily lives.

New US Initiatives on Safe and Responsible Use of AI

Building upon the historic Executive Order signed by President Biden on October 30, Vice President Kamala Harris announced a series of new U.S. initiatives to advance the safe and responsible use of AI. Here’s a closer look at these initiatives:

United States AI Safety Institute (US AISI)

In a significant move, the Department of Commerce is establishing the US AISI within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Its mission? To operationalize the AI Risk Management Framework, creating a set of tools, benchmarks, and best practices for AI risk evaluation and mitigation, including red-teaming exercises to uncover and address AI vulnerabilities. This initiative is poised to propel technical guidance for regulators, foster transparency, and promote the adoption of privacy-preserving AI technologies. It also opens doors for international collaboration, notably with the UK’s planned AI Safety Institute, and partnerships with academia, industry, and civil society.

Draft Policy Guidance on U.S. Government Use of AI

The Office of Management and Budget is inviting public commentary on the inaugural draft policy guiding the U.S. government's application of AI. This blueprint emphasizes responsible AI innovation, setting forth measures to enhance transparency, accountability, and risk management across various federal domains, from healthcare to law enforcement.

Political Declaration on the Responsible Military Use of AI

A groundbreaking Political Declaration, endorsed by 31 nations, outlines norms for the responsible development and deployment of military AI capabilities, emphasizing adherence to International Humanitarian Law and rigorous testing protocols.

New Funders Initiative to Advance AI in the Public Interest

A visionary partnership with philanthropic organizations has resulted in over $200 million dedicated to AI initiatives that prioritize public interest, focusing on democracy, worker empowerment, transparency, and international norms.

Combatting AI-Driven Fraudulent Phone Calls:

An initiative to tackle AI-generated voice scams, particularly targeting the elderly, is set to launch. The White House’s virtual hackathon will challenge tech experts to devise AI models capable of detecting and blocking these malicious communications.

International Norms on Content Authentication:

This initiative advocates for global standards to authenticate digital content, including AI-generated media, to bolster defenses against deceptive synthetic media.

Pledge on Responsible Government Use of AI:

In line with the Draft Policy Guidance, the State Department aims to collaborate with the Freedom Online Coalition to advocate for AI practices that respect rights and adhere to international legal standards.

In summary, the Executive Order and initiatives spearheaded by President Biden and Vice President Harris mark a significant step in the United States' AI strategy. These measures aim to balance the promotion of AI innovation with the need for ethical standards and regulatory oversight. The establishment of the AI Safety Institute, the draft policy guidance for AI use in government, the declaration on military AI, and the funders initiative represent tangible efforts to mitigate AI-related risks while leveraging its potential for societal benefit. As AI technology advances, continuous updates to these policies will be necessary to address new challenges and opportunities.