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Understanding the Recent White House Executive Order on AI: An Overview and Implications for AI Audits

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the world around us, prompting governments worldwide to establish guidelines for its safe and responsible use. A recent example is the Executive Order issued by the White House on October 30, 2023. This post provides an overview of this landmark order and discusses its implications for AI audits.





Introduction to the Executive Order


The Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence aims to govern the development and use of AI responsibly. It acknowledges the extraordinary potential of AI, as well as the risks associated with its irresponsible use, such as fraud, discrimination, bias, disinformation, and threats to national security.


The order advances a coordinated, Federal Government-wide approach to govern the development and use of AI safely and responsibly. It sets forth eight guiding principles and priorities for the development and use of AI.


Key Principles of the Executive Order


The Executive Order is guided by the following key principles:


  • AI must be safe and secure.

  • The privacy of Americans must be protected.

  • Equity and civil rights must be advanced.

  • Consumers and workers must be stood up for.

  • Innovation and competition must be promoted.

  • American leadership abroad must be advanced.

  • The use of AI by the government must be responsible and effective.


AI Audits and the Executive Order


One of the key aspects of the Executive Order is the emphasis on AI audits. The order recognizes the need for robust, reliable, repeatable, and standardized evaluations of AI systems.


It calls for policies, institutions, and other mechanisms to test, understand, and mitigate risks from these systems before they are put to use.


The order requires developers of powerful AI systems to share their safety test results and other critical information with the U.S. government. This includes companies developing any foundation model that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology is tasked with setting rigorous standards for extensive red-team testing to ensure safety before public release. The Department of Homeland Security will apply those standards to critical infrastructure sectors and establish the AI Safety and Security Board.


Conclusion


The Executive Order represents a significant step towards ensuring the safe, secure, and trustworthy development and use of AI. It underscores the importance of AI audits in mitigating the risks associated with AI. As AI continues to evolve, such guidelines will play a crucial role in shaping its development and deployment.


Stay tuned for more insights into the fascinating world of AI!


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