Legal Alert

Executive Order Allows Federal Government to Regulate AI Models

by Charley F. Brown and Jonathan P. Hummel
October 30, 2023

The Biden Administration announced today a broad Executive Order (Order) on artificial intelligence (AI). The Order, announced just days before an international summit on AI safety, allows the federal government to enforce requirements on AI models before the model can be used.

The Order establishes guidelines for AI safety and security. It aims to shield Americans' data privacy and emphasizes equity and civil rights. As stated by the White House, the Order champions the welfare of consumers and workers while fostering innovation and competition. A primary objective of the Order is to position the United States as a leader in AI governance.

The Order requires:

  • That developers of powerful, large AI systems disclose safety test results and other critical information to the U.S. government;
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop standards and tests to ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy;
  • Agencies that fund life sciences research to protect against the risks of using AI to engineer dangerous biological materials;
  • The Department of Commerce to develop guidance for content authentication and watermarking to clearly label AI-generated content. This will serve to protect Americans from AI-enabled fraud by establishing standards and best practices for detecting AI-generated content and authenticating official content; and
  • The development of a National Security Memorandum that directs further actions on AI and security. The National Security Memorandum is to be developed by the National Security Council and White House Chief of Staff.
  • The Order also contains measures designed to prevent discrimination, bias, and other abuses in industries ranging from healthcare to housing and criminal justice by preventing algorithmic discrimination.

Further, the Order builds on the Biden-Harris AI Cyber Challenge by establishing an advanced cybersecurity program to encourage the development of AI tools designed to find and fix vulnerabilities in critical software.

This sweeping action represents the first major effort by the White House to require new safety assessments, equity and civil rights guidance, and research on AI’s impact.

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