On Monday, October 30th, President Biden issued an executive order on the use of artificial intelligence in the U.S. and the risks that accompany the advancement of this technology. Artificial intelligence has been a large turning point in 2023, with AI text generation tools such as ChatGPT and AI image generation tools like Midjourney rising in popularity. Biden’s main concerns about AI are that it could be used to impersonate the U.S. government, potentially leading Americans to false and misleading information that could be dangerous. AI could also pose a threat to American infrastructure and the privacy of American citizens. However, Biden acknowledges that there are many benefits to reap from the use of artificial intelligence in the government and its agencies, given that it is used effectively and ethically.

The executive order will create a new AI Safety and Security Board under the Department of Homeland Security. The department, along with the Department of Energy, will discuss artificial intelligence’s possible threats to American infrastructure — including biological, nuclear, and chemical risks. Projects related to life science that receive federal funding will be required to follow new artificial intelligence standards. Artificial intelligence also brings up new problems regarding cybersecurity, as AI can be used by bad actors to decrypt information and steal data. Developers of powerful AI systems will be required to share safety test results and critical information with the U.S. government to assess its possible use for damaging national/economic security and the public safety of citizens. The Department of Commerce will take new measures to ensure that people can tell when government communications are authentic.

Biden also is taking action to ensure that artificial intelligence is ethical and free from algorithmic discrimination. He will be issuing a National Security Memorandum that will require military and intelligence agencies to use artificial intelligence safely. He will also be taking action to stop algorithmic discrimination from the data used to train AI, including racial, gender, and ethnic bias. Biden is currently creating a blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, that will instill the best practices for artificial intelligence in the justice system.

Despite these concerns, Biden expressed optimism towards the rise of artificial intelligence in his executive order. The President wants to hire artificial intelligence professionals  within the government and promote the safe and responsible use of AI to handle global challenges with other world governments. The executive order would create resources for the American healthcare industry to use AI effectively. It would provide resources for the use of AI in education and would establish an advanced cybersecurity program that will use AI to fix security flaws in high-importance software. Biden will be creating the National AI Research Resource, a tool to accelerate artificial intelligence research across America.

Although AI is viewed by many as a danger to the workplace and the safety and security of Americans, Biden believes that AI can be very beneficial if given the proper standards and regulations. There are many concerns about AI that Biden did not address in his executive order, but it is a good step toward handling this new era of technology where the development of AI is being watched by governments around the world.

To read Biden’s full executive order, go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2023/10/30/executive-order-on-the-safe-secure-and-trustworthy-development-and-use-of-artificial-intelligence/.

To read a summary of Biden’s executive order, go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/10/30/fact-sheet-president-biden-issues-executive-order-on-safe-secure-and-trustworthy-artificial-intelligence/

Sophomore Nicholas Carpenter is a Staff Writer. His email is ncarpent@fandm.edu.