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The Biden administration has announced new artificial intelligence (AI) regulations for federal agencies, building off the president’s executive order from last year. These regulations include mandatory risk reporting and transparency rules to ensure the safe and responsible use of AI by government agencies. Vice President Kamala Harris stated that agencies must verify that AI tools do not endanger the rights and safety of the American people before using them. Agencies will also need to appoint a chief AI officer to oversee technology and provide an online database listing AI systems and their associated risks.

The new regulations were developed with input from leaders in both the public and private sectors, including computer scientists and civil rights leaders. The goal of these policies is to advance equity and civil rights while also protecting consumers and workers. OMB Director Shalanda Young emphasized the need for agencies to independently evaluate their use of AI, monitor for mistakes and failures, and guard against the risk of discrimination. This approach aims to harness the significant opportunities offered by AI while mitigating potential risks to public services and societal challenges like climate change, public health, and economic opportunity.

The White House’s recent efforts to curtail potential dangers of AI include requiring developers to share safety-test results, commonly referred to as red-team testing, with the federal government. President Biden’s executive order was hailed as a landmark step to protect Americans from the potential risks of AI systems. However, a coalition of state attorneys general raised concerns that the order could centralize government control over AI, leading to potential political abuse and censorship of information. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and others warned that the order could be used for partisan purposes, including censoring responses under the guise of combatting disinformation.

The potential risks associated with AI technology have prompted the Biden administration to take action to safeguard users’ data and ensure responsible use of the technology. The new regulations require agencies to assess and monitor their use of AI to prevent discriminatory outcomes and mistakes. By appointing chief AI officers and providing transparency through online databases listing AI systems, agencies can work towards promoting the safe, secure, and ethical use of AI across the federal government. The executive order and subsequent regulations seek to strike a balance between harnessing the opportunities offered by AI and preventing potential harm to individuals and society as a whole.

Overall, the Biden administration’s focus on AI regulations for federal agencies underscores the importance of responsible AI use in advancing equity, civil rights, and consumer protection. By requiring agencies to assess risks and ensure transparency in their use of AI, the government aims to promote the safe and secure deployment of this technology. While concerns about centralizing government control and potential political interference have been raised by some, the administration’s efforts to address these risks and protect against misuse of AI technology are crucial in shaping a future where AI can be leveraged for societal benefit while safeguarding against harm.

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