US President Joe Biden Issues Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence Safety
US President Joe Biden has taken a significant step towards ensuring the safety and security of artificial intelligence (AI) systems by issuing an executive order. The order sets standards for the development, testing, and transparency of AI systems, thereby protecting national security and public health.
Promoting Safety and Transparency
The executive order mandates that companies developing AI systems must share details of their safety testing with the US government. This requirement aims to ensure that potential risks associated with “Foundation models,” which can have significant implications for national security and public health, are disclosed.
Foundation models are advanced AI systems that consume vast amounts of data and can be used in various applications. Notably, they are commonly utilized in systems that employ natural language processing and those that propose the creation of new chemical compounds.
Setting Standards for Safety Tests
The National Institute of Standards and Technology will play a crucial role in this executive order by establishing the safety tests that companies must conduct before releasing AI systems. These tests will ensure that AI technologies meet the required safety standards.
Protecting Critical Infrastructure
The executive order also dictates that the Department of Homeland Security will be responsible for implementing the established standards in critical infrastructure sectors. Furthermore, a dedicated AI Safety and Security Council will be formed to oversee compliance and address any emerging concerns.
Utilizing Presidential Authority
President Biden’s executive order derives its power from the Defense Production Act, a legal tool commonly used by presidents to regulate US companies for national security purposes. This displays the administration’s commitment to leveraging all available resources to safeguard the nation’s interests.
Notably, former President Donald Trump also employed this act during the Covid-19 pandemic to control the export of medical goods and enhance domestic production.