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Biden AI Executive Order – Summary

This Executive Order, which was released today, October 30, 2023, attempts to balance AI safety, privacy and ethical use of the technology while preserving US leadership and security.  The announcement follows efforts in 2022 by the White House when they published a Blueprint for the AI Bill of Rights.  This is likely to have a major effect on US Tech companies Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, and Google who will be required to disclose their safety testing procedures and results to the U.S. Federal government.  While this type of transparency is clearly needed, this might put a big burden on small companies that do not have the infrastructure in place to comply.

AI Safety and Security:

  1. Establishes AI safety and security standards.
  2. Developers of foundational AI models must share safety test results with the U.S. Government if they pose significant risks to national security, economic security, or public health and safety.
  3. The National Institute of Standards and Technology will set standards for red team testing of powerful AI models. (A red team is a group of people who simulate an adversary’s attack against an organization’s security. Red teams are also known as “ethical hackers”)
  4. Agencies funding life-science projects must establish standards to prevent AI from engineering dangerous biological materials.
  5. An advanced cybersecurity program will be established to develop AI tools for identifying and rectifying vulnerabilities in critical software.
  6. A National Security Memorandum will be drafted to ensure the U.S. military and intelligence use AI safely and ethically.

Upholding Privacy:

  1. The Executive Order emphasizes the protection of American citizens’ privacy.
  2. Calls for Congress to pass federal data privacy legislation.
  3. Aims to accelerate the development of privacy-preserving techniques and tools.
  4. Provides oversight into agencies’ data collection and usage.
  5. Develops guidelines for evaluating the effectiveness of privacy-preserving techniques.

Promoting Equity and Protecting Civil Rights:

  1. Focuses on ensuring equal opportunity and preventing algorithmic discrimination.
  2. Provides guidance to landlords, Federal benefits programs, and Federal contractors.
  3. Establishes best practices for handling AI-related civil rights violations.
  4. Develops best practices for AI use in criminal justice activities.

Protection for Consumers, Patients, and Students:

  1. Promotes responsible AI use in healthcare and drug development.
  2. Aims to harness AI’s potential in education through initiatives like personalized tutoring.

Support for Workers:

  1. Addresses potential job displacement due to AI.
  2. Develops principles to protect workers from unfair compensation, evaluations, and restrictions on organizing.
  3. Studies options for supporting displaced workers and assesses AI’s impact on the labor market.

Promotion of Innovation and Competition:

  1. Aims to maintain the U.S.’s global leadership in AI innovation.
  2. Pilots a National AI Research Resource for AI researchers and students.
  3. Supports small developers and entrepreneurs with technical assistance.
  4. Expands visa processes for skilled immigrants with expertise in critical domains.

Advancement of American Leadership Abroad:

  1. Directs actions for international cooperation on AI.
  2. Engages stakeholders to establish international AI risk management frameworks.
  3. Collaborates with international partners on AI standards.
  4. Promotes the adoption of AI safeguards globally.

Government Use of AI:

  1. Focuses on the responsible deployment of AI by Federal agencies.
  2. Issues guidance for Federal agency AI use.
  3. Modernizes Federal infrastructure and accelerates the hiring of AI professionals in the government.

What are the possible effects on dispute resolution and the use of AI?

The Biden Executive Order on artificial intelligence, with its emphasis on safety, privacy, and ethical considerations, has the potential to significantly influence the use of AI in mediation and law. As the legal sector increasingly integrates AI tools for tasks such as document review, predictive analytics, and even dispute resolution, the stringent standards set by the Executive Order can ensure that these tools are developed and deployed with a fervent focus on fairness and transparency. Particularly, the directives against algorithmic discrimination and the establishment of best practices for handling AI-related civil rights violations can lead to more equitable AI-driven legal outcomes. In addition, the emphasis on privacy will ensure that sensitive legal data remains protected.

How are these rules going to be regulated?

However, even though there is now an executive order in place, the ability to enforce these broad rules is not clear. U.S. agencies may need to pursue novel litigation, often without explicit legal authority to regulate algorithms, to attempt to effectuate these rules.  On the global front, this becomes more complicated. For example: The EU and U.S. seem to be taking distinct regulatory approaches to AI used for impactful socioeconomic decisions, such as hiring, educational access, and financial services. The EU’s approach has both wider coverage of applications and a broader set of rules for these AI applications. The U.S. approach is more narrowly curtailed to an adaptation of current agency regulatory authority to attempt to handle AI, which is much more limited.

What role should Mediators play in the development of AI standards and regulations? 

The development of ethical AI standards and regulations is a complex task that requires a multidisciplinary approach. Mediators, with their expertise in law, ethics, and dispute resolution, can play a vital role in ensuring that AI is developed and used in a manner that is both beneficial and just. Given the global nature of technology and business, it’s essential that AI standards and regulations are harmonized across borders to the extent possible. Mediators with international experience can provide insights into how to navigate the complexities of different legal jurisdictions and promote international cooperation.


Robert Bergman

Robert Bergman with Next Level Mediation provides full mediation services - including proprietary and confidential Decision Science (DS) analysis that assists each party in understanding their true litigation priorities as aligned with their business objectives. Each party receives a one-time user license to access our exclusive DS Application Cloud. We… MORE

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