Yesterday, 31st October 2023, President Biden issued a landmark Executive Order to ensure that America leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence (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 more.
1. New Standards for AI Safety and Security
As AI’s capabilities grow, so do its implications for Americans’ safety and security. With thisExecutive Order, the President directs the most sweeping actions ever taken to protect Americansfrom the potential risks of AI systems:
➢ Require that developers of the most powerful AI systems share their safety test results andother critical information with the U.S. government. In accordance with the DefenseProduction Act, the Order will require that companies developing any foundation model thatposes a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public healthand safety must notify the federal government when training the model and must share theresults of all red-team safety tests. These measures will ensure AI systems are safe, secure, andtrustworthy before companies make them public.
➢ Develop standards, tools, and tests to help ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, andtrustworthy. The National Institute of Standards and Technology will set the rigorous standardsfor extensive red-team testing to ensure safety before public release. The Department ofHomeland Security will apply those standards to critical infrastructure sectors and establish theAI Safety and Security Board. The Departments of Energy and Homeland Security will alsoaddress AI systems’ threats to critical infrastructure, as well as chemical, biological, radiological,nuclear, and cybersecurity risks. Together, these are the most significant actions ever taken byany government to advance the field of AI safety.
➢ Protect against the risks of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials by developingstrong new standards for biological synthesis screening. Agencies that fund life-science projectswill establish these standards as a condition of federal funding, creating powerful incentives toensure appropriate screening and manage risks potentially made worse by AI.
➢ Protect Americans from AI-enabled fraud and deception by establishing standards and bestpractices for detecting AI-generated content and authenticating official content. TheDepartment of Commerce will develop guidance for content authentication and watermarkingto clearly label AI-generated content. Federal agencies will use these tools to make it easy forAmericans to know that the communications they receive from their government areauthentic—and set an example for the private sector and governments around the world.
➢Establish an advanced cybersecurity program to develop AI tools to find and fix vulnerabilitiesin critical software, building on the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing AI Cyber Challenge.Together, these efforts will harness AI’s potentially game-changing cyber capabilities to makesoftware and networks more secure.
➢ Order the development of a National Security Memorandum that directs further actions on AIand security, to be developed by the National Security Council and White House Chief of Staff.This document will ensure that the United States military and intelligence community use AIsafely, ethically, and effectively in their missions, and will direct actions to counter adversaries’military use of AI.
2. Protecting Americans’ Privacy
Without safeguards, AI can put Americans’ privacy further at risk. AI not only makes it easier toextract, identify, and exploit personal data, but it also heightens incentives to do so becausecompanies use data to train AI systems. To better protect Americans’ privacy, including from therisks posed by AI, the President calls on Congress to pass bipartisan data privacy legislation toprotect all Americans, especially kids, and directs the following actions:
➢ Protect Americans’ privacy by prioritizing federal support for accelerating the developmentand use of privacy-preserving techniques—including ones that use cutting-edge AI and that letAI systems be trained while preserving the privacy of the training data.
➢ Strengthen privacy-preserving research and technologies, such as cryptographic tools thatpreserve individuals’ privacy, by funding a Research Coordination Network to advance rapidbreakthroughs and development. The National Science Foundation will also work with thisnetwork to promote the adoption of leading-edge privacy-preserving technologies by federalagencies.
➢ Evaluate how agencies collect and use commercially available information—includinginformation they procure from data brokers—and strengthen privacy guidance for federalagencies to account for AI risks. This work will focus in particular on commercially availableinformation containing personally identifiable data.
➢ Develop guidelines for federal agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of privacy-preservingtechniques, including those used in AI systems. These guidelines will advance agency efforts toprotect Americans’ data.
3. Advancing Equity and Civil Rights
Irresponsible uses of AI can lead to and deepen discrimination, bias, and other abuses in justice,healthcare, and housing. The Biden-Harris Administration has already taken action by publishingthe Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and issuing an Executive Order directing agencies to combatalgorithmic discrimination, while enforcing existing authorities to protect people’s rights and safety.To ensure that AI advances equity and civil rights, the President directs the following additionalactions:
➢ Provide clear guidance to landlords, Federal benefits programs, and federal contractors tokeep AI algorithms from being used to exacerbate discrimination.
➢ Address algorithmic discrimination through training, technical assistance, and coordinationbetween the Department of Justice and Federal civil rights offices on best practices forinvestigating and prosecuting civil rights violations related to AI.
➢ Ensure fairness throughout the criminal justice system by developing best practices on the useof AI in sentencing, parole and probation, pretrial release and detention, risk assessments,surveillance, crime forecasting and predictive policing, and forensic analysis.
4. Standing Up for Consumers, Patients, and Students
AI can bring real benefits to consumers—for example, by making products better, cheaper, andmore widely available. But AI also raises the risk of injuring, misleading, or otherwise harmingAmericans. To protect consumers while ensuring that AI can make Americans better off, thePresident directs the following actions:
➢ Advance the responsible use of AI in healthcare and the development of affordable and life-saving drugs. The Department of Health and Human Services will also establish a safety programto receive reports of—and act to remedy – harms or unsafe healthcare practices involving AI.
➢ Shape AI’s potential to transform education by creating resources to support educatorsdeploying AI-enabled educational tools, such as personalized tutoring in schools.
5. Supporting Workers
AI is changing America’s jobs and workplaces, offering both the promise of improved productivitybut also the dangers of increased workplace surveillance, bias, and job displacement. To mitigatethese risks, support workers’ ability to bargain collectively, and invest in workforce training anddevelopment that is accessible to all, the President directs the following actions:
➢ Develop principles and best practices to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AIfor workers by addressing job displacement; labor standards; workplace equity, health, andsafety; and data collection. These principles and best practices will benefit workers by providingguidance to prevent employers from undercompensating workers, evaluating job applicationsunfairly, or impinging on workers’ ability to organize.
➢ Produce a report on AI’s potential labor-market impacts, and study and identify options forstrengthening federal support for workers facing labor disruptions, including from AI.
6. Promoting Innovation and Competition
More AI startups raised first-time capital in the United States last year than in the next sevencountries combined. The Executive Order ensures that US continues to lead the way in innovationand competition through the following actions:
➢ Catalyze AI research across the United States through a pilot of the National AI ResearchResource—a tool that will provide AI researchers and students access to key AI resources anddata—and expanded grants for AI research in vital areas like healthcare and climate change.
➢ Promote a fair, open, and competitive AI ecosystem by providing small developers andentrepreneurs access to technical assistance and resources, helping small businessescommercialize AI breakthroughs, and encouraging the Federal Trade Commission to exercise itsauthorities.
➢ Use existing authorities to expand the ability of highly skilled immigrants and nonimmigrantswith expertise in critical areas to study, stay, and work in the United States by modernizing andstreamlining visa criteria, interviews, and reviews.
7. Advancing American Leadership Abroad
AI’s challenges and opportunities are global. The Biden-Harris Administration will continueworking with other nations to support safe, secure, and trustworthy deployment and use of AIworldwide. To that end, the President directs the following actions:
➢ Expand bilateral, multilateral, and multistakeholder engagements to collaborate on AI. TheState Department, in collaboration, with the Commerce Department will lead an effort toestablish robust international frameworks for harnessing AI’s benefits and managing its risks andensuring safety. In addition, this week, Vice President Harris will speak at the UK Summit on AISafety, hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
➢ Accelerate development and implementation of vital AI standards with international partnersand in standards organizations, ensuring that the technology is safe, secure, trustworthy, andinteroperable.
➢ Promote the safe, responsible, and rights-affirming development and deployment of AIabroad to solve global challenges, such as advancing sustainable development and mitigatingdangers to critical infrastructure.
8. Ensuring Responsible and Effective Government Use of AI
AI can help government deliver better results for the American people. It can expand agencies’capacity to regulate, govern, and disburse benefits, and it can cut costs and enhance the security ofgovernment systems. However, use of AI can pose risks, such as discrimination and unsafedecisions. To ensure the responsible government deployment of AI and modernize federal AIinfrastructure, the President directs the following actions:
➢ Issue guidance for agencies’ use of AI, including clear standards to protect rights and safety,improve AI procurement, and strengthen AI deployment.
➢ Help agencies acquire specified AI products and services faster, more cheaply, and moreeffectively through more rapid and efficient contracting.
➢ Accelerate the rapid hiring of AI professionals as part of a government-wide AI talent surge ledby the Office of Personnel Management, U.S. Digital Service, U.S. Digital Corps, and PresidentialInnovation Fellowship. Agencies will provide AI training for employees at all levels in relevantfields.
9. Next Steps
The Administration will work with allies and partners abroad on a strong international frameworkto govern the development and use of AI.The Administration has already consulted widely on AI governance frameworks over the pastseveral months—engaging with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the European Union, France,Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, thePhilippines, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE, and the UK.The actions taken yesterday support and complement Japan’s leadership of the G-7 HiroshimaProcess, the UK Summit on AI Safety, India’s leadership as Chair of the Global Partnership on AI,and ongoing discussions at the United Nations.