President Joseph Biden issued an executive order (Order) on October 30 addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by artificial intelligence (AI). The Order’s scope is extensive and includes new standards for AI safety, security, and innovation in a number of industries, including, but not limited to, technology, immigration, privacy, intellectual property, healthcare, and the workplace. The overarching goal of the Order is to promote responsible innovation, competition, and collaboration in AI via government oversight and regulation.

  • Guidelines and Best Practices: Establishment of guidelines, standards, and best practices for AI safety and security
  • Safety and Security: Mandating the launch of an initiative to create guidance and benchmarks for evaluating and auditing AI capabilities, which includes coordination by the Nation Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with various government entities to ensure the availability of testing environments to support the development of safe and secure AI technologies; assessments on the use of AI in critical infrastructure and regulations for training large AI models with potential capabilities that could be used in malicious cyber-enabled activity
  • Immigration: Providing directives on immigration policies, such as streamlining the processing times of visas, to attract foreign workers for the development and use of AI
  • Promoting Competition: Directing various government agencies to address risks arising from concentrated control of key inputs, taking steps to stop unlawful collusion and prevent dominant firms from disadvantaging competitors, working to provide new opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs, creating incentives to produce semiconductors, and providing funding and outreach
  • Privacy: A call to Congress to pass bipartisan privacy legislation, as AI’s dependence on data could pose privacy risks to individuals and organizations, encouraging agencies to implement risk management practices, and enforcement of consumer protection laws by the federal government
  • Intellectual Property: Directing the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to
    • publish guidance to USPTO patent examiners and applicants addressing inventorship and the use of AI, including generative AI, in the inventive process, including illustrative examples in which AI systems play different roles in inventive processes and how, in each example, inventorship issues ought to be analyzed and guidance on patent eligibility; and
    • consult with the Director of the United States Copyright Office and issue recommendations to the president on potential executive actions relating to copyright and AI.
  • Health: Directing the Department of Health and Human Resources to establish a task force on the responsible deployment and use of AI in the health and human services sector, including identifying errors in AI that could impact patient health, ensuring compliance with federal non-discrimination laws by agencies that receive financial assistance, and development of a strategy to regulate use of AI in drug development
  • Labor: Directing government agencies to prepare reports to evaluate necessary steps for the federal government to address AI-related workforce disruptions and develop and publish principles and best practices for employers that could be used to mitigate AI’s potential harm to employees’ well-being and maximize its potential benefits

The Order is extensive and the above are just a few highlights of the topics it covers. Many of its requirements require implementation by applicable agencies within a short period of time following the Order (90 days to a year). However, while expansive, many of the Order’s requirements are policy roadmaps; it will be up to Congress to use the Order as a building block on which to develop federal legislation on the use and development of AI.