White House: Government Must Ensure AI Doesn’t Affect People’s Rights

The White House

Following President Joe Biden’s executive order to address artificial intelligence, federal government agencies have until December 1, 2024 to ensure their AI tools “do not endanger the rights and safety of the American people.”

The executive order signed five months ago set out to address the rapid growth of AI technology. Within the past year, the tools have grown exponentially, and that doesn’t seem likely to stop anytime soon. The White House issued new guidelines Thursday as it aims to fulfill that executive order. Under this, the use of AI by federal government agencies must follow certain requirements.

“I believe that all leaders from government, civil society and the private sector have a moral, ethical and societal duty to make sure that artificial intelligence is adopted and advanced in a way that protects the public from potential harm while ensuring everyone is able to enjoy its benefits,” Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters on a press call, as Engadget reports.

Firstly, agencies have until December 1 to establish safeguards ensuring any use of AI does not affect American’s rights and safety. Failure to do so, according to Engadget, means the organization will have to stop the use of AI unless that stoppage would have an “‘unacceptable’ impact on critical operations.”

“These safeguards include a range of mandatory actions to reliably assess, test, and monitor AI’s impacts on the public, mitigate the risks of algorithmic discrimination, and provide the public with transparency into how the government uses AI,” a press release from the White House stated. “These safeguards apply to a wide range of AI applications from health and education to employment and housing.”

Additionally, the new guidelines require agencies to improve transparency on AI with the public, including sharing annual inventories on AI use cases and reporting metrics on ones that cannot be shared due to sensitivity. Further, government-owned AI code, models, and data must be released as long as doing so does not “pose a risk to the public or government operations.”

The Biden-Harris Administration also committed to hiring 100 AI professionals by this summer to promote the trustworthy and safe use of AI.

With these actions,” the White House release explains, “the Administration is demonstrating that Government is leading by example as a global model for the safe, secure, and trustworthy use of AI.”

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