The White House has unveiled what it deems to be “the most significant actions ever taken by any government to advance the field of AI safety.”
An executive order issued by President Biden mandates that Artificial Intelligence (AI) developers share their safety findings with the US government.
This move positions the US at the forefront of the global conversation on AI governance.
However, this leadership stance had been anticipated by the UK government, which was hoping to establish its position at a summit it is hosting this week.
The two-day event, commencing on November 1st at Bletchley Park, was prompted by concerns regarding the rapid advancement of AI systems leading to potential issues like the development of more dangerous bio-weapons and more devastating cyber attacks.
Alex Krasodomski, a senior research associate at Chatham House, noted that the executive order illustrates the US’s perception of itself as the leader in addressing these threats.
White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed stated that the US has issued “the most robust set of actions any government in the world has ever taken on AI safety, security, and trust.”
These measures include:
- Establishing new safety and security standards for AI, including requirements for AI companies to share safety test results with the federal government.
- Safeguarding consumer privacy by creating guidelines for agencies to assess privacy techniques used in AI.
- Addressing AI algorithm bias and developing best practices for the appropriate role of AI in the justice system.
- Creating a program to assess potentially harmful AI-related healthcare practices and offering guidance on responsible AI tool use for educators.
- Collaborating with international partners to implement global AI standards.
In addition, the Biden administration is taking steps to enhance its AI workforce, enabling individuals with AI expertise to find relevant job opportunities within the federal government through AI.gov.
However, Mr. Krasodomski pointed out that while the executive order is “highly significant,” it does not align precisely with the UK’s goals for the summit. The UK summit is mentioned in the executive order but is characterized as “advancing American leadership abroad,” indicating that the US recognizes its major role alongside China. Specifically, it acknowledges that US companies are driving AI advancements.
Given the substantial global impact of this technology, he emphasized the need for extensive engagement with countries worldwide.
The UK government’s AI Summit, a “world first” event hosted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, is focused on addressing concerns related to frontier AI, and it has garnered attention from high-profile figures like US Vice President Kamala Harris, leaders of US tech giants, President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The UK aims to position itself as a global leader in minimizing the risks associated with powerful AI technology. However, the EU is in the process of enacting an AI act, China has already established strict AI regulations, and the US has issued this executive order. Additionally, the G7 industrial nations are reportedly formulating a code of conduct for companies involved in advanced AI systems.
All of these developments raise questions about the extent to which discussions at the Bletchley Park summit can influence the rapidly evolving landscape of AI governance.