In the wake of numerous presentations by tech executives pleading for Washington to deliver some oversight into the use and management of AI, the Biden Administration announced a sweeping executive order related to the topic.
The executive order focuses on the use of artificial intelligence within the government but outlines rules that could be seen as a framework with which to define broader legislation.
With Congress effectively paralyzed with political infighting, it is unlikely that any meaningful AI legislation will be produced in the near term.
This leaves the executive branch to lead by example through this executive order.
The main thrust of the executive order focuses on openness by the major companies developing foundational models for generative AI and the need for these companies to establish standard safety protocols for testing.
The EO also outlines multiple dos and don’ts such as having companies prove that AI will not exacerbate discrimination or help to deliver designs for dangerous biological materials.
Daniel Castro, a spokesperson for the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a non-profit think tank backed by the big tech firms Microsoft, Amazon, and Google stated “There’s a huge gap between goals and reality throughout the EO.”
Executive Orders have limited power and rely on tech firms to embrace them in order to do business with government agencies.
Some parts of the EO will require federal funding which means the next step in the process to make the order effective is to somehow find the dollars to pay for it.
So while this executive order was very much anticipated, it is unclear how it will be realized and how tech companies will respond to being regulated.