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White House rolls out plan to promote ethical AI

White House rolls out plan to promote ethical AI


The Biden administration is introducing new funding and policy guidance for developing artificial intelligence.

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President Biden And VP Harris Deliver Remarks On National Small Business Week In The Rose Garden
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House announced more funding and policy guidance for developing responsible artificial intelligence ahead of a Biden administration meeting with top industry executives. 

The actions include a $140 million investment from the National Science Foundation to launch seven new National AI Research (NAIR) Institutes, increasing the total number of AI-dedicated facilities to 25 nationwide. Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, OpenAI and other companies have also agreed to allow their language models to be publicly evaluated during this year’s Def Con. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also said that it would be publishing draft rules this summer for how the federal government should use AI technology. 

“These steps build on the Administration’s strong record of leadership to ensure technology improves the lives of the American people, and break new ground in the federal government’s ongoing effort to advance a cohesive and comprehensive approach to AI-related risks and opportunities,” the administration’s press release said. It does not specify the details of what the Def Con evaluation will include, beyond saying that it will “allow these models to be evaluated thoroughly by thousands of community partners and AI experts.”

The announcement came ahead of a Thursday White House meeting, led by Vice President Kamala Harris, with the chief executives of Alphabet, Anthropic, Microsoft, and OpenAI to discuss AI’s potential risks. “The meeting is part of a broader, ongoing effort to engage with advocates, companies, researchers, civil rights organizations, not-for-profit organizations, communities, international partners, and others on critical AI issues,” the Thursday release said.

Last October, the Biden administration made its first strides to regulate AI by releasing a blueprint for an “AI Bill of Rights.” The project was intended to serve as a framework for use of the technology by both the public and private sectors, encouraging anti-discrimination and privacy protections.

Following Thursday’s White House meeting, Harris said in a statement “As I shared today with CEOs of companies at the forefront of American AI innovation, the private sector has an ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their products. And every company must comply with existing laws to protect the American people.”

Federal regulators and Congress have announced a fresh focus on AI over the last few weeks. In April, the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Federal Protection Bureau, Justice Department, and Employment Opportunity Commission issued a joint warning arguing that they  already had authority to go after companies whose AI products harm users.

House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other lawmakers also reportedly met with Elon Musk to discuss AI regulation last week

Updated May 4th, 2023 at 1:56PM ET: Added a statement from Vice President Kamala Harris following the White House’s AI meeting.