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White House Policy Aims to Navigate AI Risks and Benefits

White House Plans To Hire AI Experts

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has unveiled its inaugural government-wide policy to address the risks and opportunities associated with the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) across federal agencies. This policy rollout marks a significant milestone in the Biden-Harris Administration's efforts to ensure responsible AI innovation and governance, in line with the directives outlined in President Biden's landmark AI Executive Order.

Mitigating AI Risks: Safeguards and Transparency

The new OMB policy outlines a series of directives aimed at mitigating risks associated with AI implementation while enhancing transparency in its usage. Key actions mandated by the policy include:

1. Addressing Risks: Federal agencies are instructed to implement concrete safeguards by December 1, 2024, to assess, test, and monitor AI's impacts on public rights and safety. These safeguards encompass measures to mitigate algorithmic discrimination, ensure transparency in AI usage, and provide avenues for public recourse in case of AI-related harms.

2. Expanding Transparency: Agencies are required to enhance public transparency by releasing detailed inventories of their AI use cases, including sensitive applications impacting public rights or safety. Additionally, agencies must report metrics on AI usage withheld from public inventories and notify the public of any AI exemptions granted, accompanied by justifications.

Fostering Responsible AI Innovation and Workforce Development

In addition to risk mitigation and transparency enhancements, the OMB policy aims to foster responsible AI innovation and strengthen the AI workforce across federal agencies. Key initiatives include:

1. Promoting Innovation: The policy seeks to remove barriers hindering responsible AI innovation within federal agencies, enabling transformative AI applications to address societal challenges. Examples include leveraging AI for climate crisis response, public health initiatives, and public safety enhancements.

2. Enhancing Workforce: Federal agencies are directed to expand and upskill their AI talent pool to support the development and governance of AI initiatives. The Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to hiring 100 AI professionals by Summer 2024 underscores its dedication to nurturing a skilled AI workforce.

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Ensuring Accountability and Oversight

To ensure accountability and oversight in federal AI initiatives, the OMB policy mandates the designation of Chief AI Officers and the establishment of AI Governance Boards within agencies. These leadership structures will coordinate AI efforts, govern AI usage, and ensure adherence to policy directives.

With the release of this comprehensive policy, the Biden-Harris Administration asserts its commitment to setting a global standard for responsible AI adoption and governance. By promoting transparency, accountability, and workforce development, the government aims to leverage AI as a force for societal good while mitigating associated risks.

In summary, the White House's proactive approach to AI governance and innovation represents a pivotal step towards harnessing the transformative potential of AI for the benefit of all Americans.

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