White House Issues Executive Order on AI

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to impact the future of how we live, there has been a divided reaction—pro and con—among many people. It was therefore only a matter of time that the use and regulation of AI were to become a matter for Congress to address, which took place earlier this week.

Pro: How AI is helping the workforce

While AI has been slowly building momentum for a long time, its presence made a strong impact at the end of 2022. The release of ChatGPT and its benefits (and accompanying challenges) continue to evolve and develop. In the workplace, AI-related tasks intended to help productivity include the prioritization of personalization for communications such as email, task automation, and advanced data analysis. While these developments are for the better, there have been opposite situations that give strength to those who shy away from AI…

Con: The ”dark side” of AI

The power of AI—and the misuse of that power—was recently discovered when actor Tom Hanks and newscaster Gayle King became embroiled in what may be called “AI-created mistaken identity crises.” Replicated—and unauthorized—images of the two public figures were generated to promote a dental plan (Hanks) and weight loss program (King). This is one example of the negative side of AI, as well as a sign of problems that could feasibly develop. It’s no wonder then that regulation is necessary.

An executive order is announced: AI goes to the White House

On Monday, October 30th, 2023, the White House issued an executive order which is intended to both harness the potential of AI as well as monitor existing and potential risks associated with this technology. In a report by Arlette Saenz and Kevin Liptak posted to CNN, officials at the White House state that this executive order is the most significant action initiated for the purpose of guarding against risks or misuse of AI. This has become a top priority and Jeff Zients, White House Chief of Staff, has emphasized the speed and efficiency needed to address these issues. What then, are the rules and requirements of this executive order?

The executive order on AI

As reported by CNBC, the measurements that President Biden is requiring from developers include:

  • Sharing safety test results with the U.S. government.

  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology will set rigorous standards for team security testing to ensure safety before an AI product is released.

  • Agencies which develop biotech products must set stronger standards for biological synthesis screening.

  • As a measure against deep fakes and misinformation, the Commerce Department will need to develop guidance for content authentication, accompanied by watermarking that specifies that particular content is “AI-generated.”

  • In combating cyberattacks, the administration is to design and implement AI-created tools to identify and fix vulnerabilities in critical software.

  • Guidance will be provided to everyone from landlords to federal contractors that will help prevent unintentional AI-based discrimination.

  • Finally—a topic that’s uppermost in the minds of many members of the workforce—the administration has been requested to write a report on the labor market impact of AI. Options to study and strengthen federal support for workers who may face labor disruptions from the technology will be examined and implemented. This should be particularly helpful to the concerns of small-to-midsized businesses as they adapt to AI.

The report noted that this is completely new territory for the U.S. government to undertake and that legislation and actual laws may not be put into effect until the beginning of 2024. The balance between mandating safety—while not stifling the innovative progress of AI—will indeed complicated.

The precepts for the executive order on AI are only the beginning of what will be an ongoing process. This will hopefully serve as first steps for enhancing the benefits of this technology as well as limiting—if not eliminating—the margin for risk.

The EGC Group will keep you updated on any news in the national coverage of AI. Feel free to contact us with your questions or concerns.