The Biden administration announced today three new artificial intelligence (AI) actions that aim to promote responsible AI innovation while protecting Americans’ rights and safety.
According to a May 4 fact sheet, the new initiatives include creating policies for AI use in the Federal government, providing millions in funding for additional AI research institutes, and conducting public assessments of existing generative AI systems.
“Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions that will further promote responsible American innovation in artificial intelligence and protect people’s rights and safety,” the fact sheet says.
“These steps build on the Administration’s strong record of leadership to ensure technology improves the lives of the American people, and break new ground in the federal government’s ongoing effort to advance a cohesive and comprehensive approach to AI-related risks and opportunities,” the White House said.
AI Guidance for Agencies
The White House said today that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will soon release draft policy guidance on the use of AI systems by the Federal government. The guidance will establish specific policies for departments and agencies to follow to ensure their development, procurement, and use of AI systems centers on safeguarding people’s rights and safety.
OMB’s upcoming policy aims to also empower agencies to responsibly leverage AI to advance their missions and strengthen their ability to equitably serve the American public, the White House said – including serving as a model for state and local governments, businesses, and others to follow in their own procurement and use of AI.
According to the fact sheet, OMB will release the draft guidance for public comment this summer, “so that it will benefit from input from advocates, civil society, industry, and other stakeholders before it is finalized.”
New AI Research Institutes
The White House also unveiled plans for the National Science Foundation to create seven new AI Research Institutes, funded to the tune of $140 million.
This investment will bring the total number of institutes to 25 across the country, the fact sheet notes, and extend the network of organizations involved into nearly every state. “The new Institutes announced today will advance AI R&D to drive breakthroughs in critical areas, including climate, agriculture, energy, public health, education, and cybersecurity,” the White House said.
Finally, the Biden administration announced a commitment to participate in a public evaluation of AI systems. The exercise will evaluate AI models based on the principles and practices outlined in the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and AI Risk Management Framework.
“This independent exercise will provide critical information to researchers and the public about the impacts of these models, and will enable AI companies and developers take steps to fix issues found in those models,” the fact sheet says. “Testing of AI models independent of government or the companies that have developed them is an important component in their effective evaluation.”
This effort builds on the steps the administration has taken to promote responsible innovation – including the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights announced last fall, as well as the AI Risk Management Framework from earlier this year – both voluntary documents that are intended to serve as critical tools with recommendations and best practices for the design, development, and use of trustworthy AI.
Earlier this week, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy published a request for information to better understand how private companies are using AI to surveil and manage workers – including the systems’ prevalence, purposes, deployment, and impacts.
The Biden administration’s new initiatives announced today come as Vice President Kamala Harris and senior administration officials meet with CEOs of four American companies at the forefront of AI innovation – Alphabet, Anthropic, Microsoft, and OpenAI.
The meeting today is intended to emphasize the importance of driving responsible, trustworthy, and ethical innovation with safeguards that mitigate risks and potential harms to individuals and society.
“AI is one of the most powerful technologies of our time, but in order to seize the opportunities it presents, we must first mitigate its risks,” the fact sheet says. “President Biden has been clear that when it comes to AI, we must place people and communities at the center by supporting responsible innovation that serves the public good, while protecting our society, security, and economy.”