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Executive Order On AI: What To Know

On October 30, 2023, President Biden signed an Executive Order on key takeaways for the use of artificial intelligence (AI). This Executive Order seeks to balance the goal of advancing the continued development of AI with national security considerations and consumer privacy rights.

The Executive Order carries implications for both the private and public sectors of the U.S. economy. For the private sector, the Executive Order notably relies on the Defense Production Act to require private AI developers to share certain safety test results with the federal government before their AI models go public to identify any potential risks. For the public sector, the Executive Order set outs, in addition to other requirements, mandatory criteria for the use of AI within government agencies.

Private Sector

The Executive Order emphasizes the use of AI on employers, healthcare, and education and lays out requirements for entities in these private sectors to comply with when using AI, which includes the following:

  • Employers must abide by newly introduced principles and best practices which are designed to reduce harms to employees caused by AI (i.e., employee mobility and privacy).
  • Healthcare providers will be required to use AI responsibly and follow new rules drafted by the Department of Health & Human Services.
  • Educational institutions must abide by new rules regarding AI enabled educational tools.
  • Landlords, federal benefits programs, and federal contractors must prevent AI algorithms from being used to exacerbate discrimination. Additionally, the Executive Order seeks to prevent discrimination in systems while trying to protect workers’ rights when AI technology is used in the workplace.

Government Agencies

The Executive Order creates new requirements for government agencies and government contractors to comply with when using AI, which include the following:

  • Abide by new guidance regarding government agencies’ use of AI.
  • Adopt privacy preserving technologies, which will be required by federal agencies.
  • Adhere to standards drafted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to ensure that AI tools are safe and secure before making such tools publicly available.
  • Adhere to the Department of Commerce’s guidance regarding content authentication and watermarking to clearly label AI-generated content.
  • Adhere to additional new and forthcoming guidance relating to national security.
-  For developers of any foundation AI model that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety, the AI developer must notify the federal government when training the model.

The Future for AI

The Executive Order emphasizes that, in the coming months, government agencies will reassess how they collect and use public information and will adopt stronger privacy requirements. The Biden administration hopes that the new Executive Order will facilitate the continued development of AI without jeopardizing public safety.

The Biden administration states that the Executive Order builds on the voluntary commitments already made by tech companies, and forthcoming efforts to regulate AI will include congressional legislation and international diplomacy. Notably, Congress may pass privacy legislation in the near future that provides comprehensive privacy rights and requirements, which could lead to new compliance requirements for businesses using AI.

The guidance of this Executive Order is to be implemented over the range of 90 to 365 days.

If your business falls within one of the emphasized private sectors, or conducts business with government agencies, your business may be subject to compliance to this Executive Order regarding AI. Contact one of the privacy experts in McGrath North’s Privacy and Cybersecurity team for all your questions related to the Executive Order and potential future regulation of AI use.