Biden signs executive order on AI policy

President Joe Biden today signed an exective order on "safe, secure and trustworthy AI." The emphasis throughout is on privacy, identifying deception, workers' rights and other concerns, while acknowledging that the cat is out of the bag and that regulation, development and investment are all necessary.

The order promises federal support for developing "privacy-preserving techniques", to evaluate "how agencies collect and use commercially available information", to "address algorithmic discrimination" and to "ensure fairness throughout the criminal justice system." It directs government to "develop principles and best practices to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers" and to produce a report on AI's potential labor-market impact.

The order also requires that top AI developers share safety test results and "critical information" about how it works, that they develop standards and tools to make AI "safe, secure, and trustworthy", and that they "protect against the risks of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials."

The order also extended the DARPA Cyber Challenge to use "AI tools to find and fix vulnerabilities in critical software."

Today, 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.

As part of the Biden-Harris Administration's comprehensive strategy for responsible innovation, the Executive Order builds on previous actions the President has taken, including work that led to voluntary commitments from 15 leading companies to drive safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI.

The conceptual spectrum is unfocused (consumer protection amusés-bouches with an entrée of pelletized policy analyst feed and for dessert we have neoliberal salivations) but I like the emphasis on testing, measurement and ongoing technical analysis as the price of avoiding overbearing regulation.