Updated: Nov 22
On October 30, President Biden issued a pivotal executive order concerning artificial intelligence (AI), a move of significant interest to anyone engaged in the AI sector. While not a law, this order introduces a comprehensive framework for AI safety, security, and privacy standards. For AI stakeholders and users, it's a key signal for the future direction of U.S. regulations.
Expanding the Scope of AI Regulation
The order defines AI in broad terms, extending its reach beyond just the latest generative AI models. It mandates federal agencies to integrate AI safety and privacy standards across various sectors including healthcare, finance, education, and transportation, urging the application of existing privacy laws to AI technologies.
Emphasizing Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETs)
A highlight of this order is its focus on privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs). Federal agencies are required to adopt PETs, and private companies, while not obligated, are encouraged to follow suit. This suggests a possible future where such technologies become fundamental in regulatory practices.
Addressing Generative AI Challenges
The executive order specifically tackles the challenges posed by synthetic content in generative AI. Federal agencies are tasked with setting standards for authenticating, labeling, and detecting this content, aiming to prevent the creation of sensitive or illegal material.
Proactive Measures in Intellectual Property
The order takes a proactive stance on intellectual property issues related to AI. It directs offices to clarify the legal aspects of AI in relation to patents and copyrights, particularly for AI-generated works and inventions.
Regulating Dual-Use Foundation Models
A significant aspect of the order is the regulation of dual-use foundation models, affecting a wide range of AI-centric companies. These companies must submit detailed safety test results and data to the government, balancing compliance with protecting trade secrets and contractual obligations.
Empowering Consumers, Patients, and Workers
AI's potential to benefit consumers, patients, and students is significant. The order directs advancements in healthcare, such as developing affordable life-saving drugs and establishing safety programs for AI in healthcare. In education, it aims to transform the sector by supporting educators with AI-enabled tools.
For workers, the order acknowledges AI's impact on jobs and workplaces. It focuses on mitigating risks like workplace surveillance and job displacement, supporting collective bargaining rights, and investing in workforce training. The order also calls for a report on AI's labor-market impacts and developing principles for maximizing AI's benefits for workers.
Fostering Innovation and Global Collaboration
The U.S. leads in AI innovation, and the order aims to maintain this through catalyzing AI research, promoting a competitive AI ecosystem, and expanding visa reforms for highly skilled AI professionals.
Internationally, the administration plans to collaborate on AI with other nations, developing global AI standards and promoting responsible AI deployment to address global challenges.
The Broader Impact and Future Direction
This extensive executive order is a major step in shaping AI regulation and innovation in the U.S.
It has profound implications for privacy, safety, and security in the field of AI, signaling a new era in regulatory approaches.
For professionals and enthusiasts in AI, this order is more than a policy update; it serves as a roadmap for the future of AI development and governance.
For more information about the Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence, please click:
Richard Liu, Esq. is the Managing Counsel of ILS. He serves clients as a management-side defense lawyer specializing in employment and business litigation. Richard is also an expert on litigation prevention and compliance. He regularly advises Fortune 500 companies and startups on employment, labor, and commercial matters.
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*Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal opinion and does not create any attorney-client relationship.