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President Biden issues first Executive Order to regulate AI in the U.S.

Rebecca Barnabi
artificial intelligence
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U.S. President Joe Biden issued a landmark Executive Order today to ensure America’s leadership “in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence (AI).”

The order outlines new standards; calls on Congress to pass bipartisan data privacy legislation to protect all Americans; ensures advancement of equity and civil rights; stands up for consumers, patients and students; supports American workers; promotes innovation and competition; advances American leadership abroad; and ensures responsible and effective government leadership use of the technology.

“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 White House press release states.

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia is vice-chair of the Congressional AI Caucus.

“President Biden’s Executive Order on AI is an ambitiously comprehensive strategy for responsible innovation that builds on previous efforts, including voluntary commitments from leading companies, to ensure the safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI,” Beyer said. “We know, however, that there are limits to what the Executive Branch can do on its own and in the long term, it is necessary for Congress to step up and legislate strong standards for equity, bias, risk management, and consumer protection. Now that the House has elected Speaker Mike Johnson, he should reconvene former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s bipartisan AI working group. As the artificial intelligence industry continues to advance, it is necessary for Congress to put guardrails in place. This work continues to be a major focus for me this Congress.”

Biden’s order would place requirements on model developers, boost hiring of AI-related positions in the federal government, create new standards for how government agencies can safely use AI and bolster privacy, direct the development of guidance to prevent AI algorithms from being used to discriminate and call for a report on the workforce impacts of AI.

Beyer is also vice chair of the New Democrat Coalition’s AI Working Group. He served eight years on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and currently attends George Mason University as a part time student completing coursework toward the pursuit of a master’s degree in machine learning, in part to help inform his work on AI in Congress.

“The actions that President Biden directed today are vital steps forward in the U.S.’s approach on safe, secure and trustworthy AI. More action will be required, and the Administration will continue to work with Congress to pursue bipartisan legislation to help America lead the way in responsible innovation,” the White House release stated.

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner of Virginia is chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Co-Chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus and former technology entrepreneur.

“I am impressed by the breadth of this Executive Order — with sections devoted to increasing AI workforce inside and outside of government, federal procurement, and global engagement. I am also happy to see a number of sections that closely align with my efforts around AI safety and security and federal government’s use of AI. At the same time, many of these just scratch the surface — particularly in areas like health care and competition policy. Other areas overlap pending bipartisan legislation, such as the provision related to national security use of AI, which duplicates some of the work in the past two Intel Authorization Acts related to AI governance. While this is a good step forward, we need additional legislative measures, and I will continue to work diligently to ensure that we prioritize security, combat bias and harmful misuse, and responsibly roll out technologies.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.