WASHINGTON— The Center for Data Innovation today welcomed the White House executive order on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Center issued the following statement from its senior policy analyst, Hodan Omaar:
Amid a sea of chaotic chatter about how to implement appropriate guardrails for AI, today’s executive order (EO) sets a clear course for the United States. It provides industry with long-awaited guidance for AI oversight, including advising tech companies to adhere to the NIST AI risk management framework, watermark AI-generated content, consider the data used in model training, and incorporate red-teaming into testing. With this EO, the United States is demonstrating it takes AI oversight seriously, and as other countries move forward with their own AI laws and regulations, the United States has an opportunity to wield its influence to protect both U.S. consumers and businesses. As stakeholders meet in the UK to discuss AI safety, many should take notice of the United States as an emerging global leader in AI governance.
However, while the general direction for AI oversight is clear, the specifics of implementation remain uncertain, which means both companies and regulators will need to navigate uncharted waters. For example, the EO calls for new standards for red teaming, biological synthesis screening, and detecting AI-generated content. These are all active areas of research where there are no simple solutions. Policymakers often forget that the reason industry hasn’t already adopted certain solutions is because those solutions don’t yet exist. This is one reason why it will be essential for the United States to continue to fund critical AI research in these areas.
Still, the focus of the EO on AI adoption is encouraging. Too often, proposals for AI exclusively focus on how AI might go wrong and leave out policies for how to ensure the technology goes right. The EO rightly includes steps to harness AI’s potential in education and healthcare, but achieving AI adoption at scale requires much more significant investment and detailed policy initiatives than the EO currently envisions. Similarly, the EO rightly focuses on promoting AI adoption in government, but the government should prepare for a marathon—not a sprint.