Biden Administration Issues Executive Order to Boost Government AI Talent
In a move to position the federal workforce at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) innovation, President Biden’s administration has issued an executive order calling for a “governmentwide AI talent surge.” This directive aims to ensure that government agencies have the necessary skills and expertise to lead in the field of AI.
The executive order mandates agencies to develop comprehensive policies on the internal use of AI tools, with the aim of enhancing government operations. Additionally, it directs the rapid hiring of AI professionals across various government sectors.
During the signing of the executive order, President Biden emphasized the importance of implementing safeguards to prevent discrimination and bias in AI systems. To address this concern, the order will provide clear guidance to federal contractors and agency programs on preventing bias in AI tools used for housing, benefits, and job decisions.
The signing ceremony was attended by heads of several agencies, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Representative Ro Khanna. The Biden administration intends to meet with congressional leaders to discuss potential AI legislation that will enforce the goals outlined in the executive order, extending its impact beyond federal contractors.
A notable provision of the order requires companies developing AI models deemed to pose a risk to national security or public health to notify the federal government. This measure aims to ensure transparency and accountability in AI-driven technologies.
To streamline the hiring process and attract top AI talent, the Office of Personnel Management will take the lead in coordinating efforts across the federal government. In the next 45 days, an AI and Technology Talent Task Force will be established to identify best practices for recruiting and retaining AI experts.
As part of the initiative, AI.gov has been updated to include a portal for potential job applicants interested in joining the AI workforce in the federal government. In addition, further guidance from the Office of Management and Budget is expected to be issued regarding the use of AI in federal agencies’ day-to-day work.
To ensure both safety and security in the implementation of AI, the executive order designates agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Homeland Security to lead the efforts in AI implementation. These agencies will focus on developing standards and programs related to AI safety and security.
Other agencies, including the Commerce Department and the State Department, will also play crucial roles in this comprehensive approach to AI policy. The Commerce Department will develop guidance for watermarking AI-generated content, particularly for official communication with the public. Meanwhile, the State Department, in collaboration with the Commerce Department, will work towards establishing international frameworks for ethical AI use.
Overall, the executive order signifies the Biden administration’s comprehensive approach to AI policy by addressing various aspects of AI safety, security, and equity. With the aim of maintaining the federal government’s leadership in AI, this initiative will equip the government workforce with the necessary skills and resources to navigate the rapidly evolving AI landscape.
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