President Joe Biden announced plans to issue an executive order this fall to support responsible innovation in the artificial intelligence (AI) industry. Speaking in San Francisco, he highlighted the need to harness the power of AI for societal benefit while also mitigating its risks. Although he did not share specific details about the executive action, Biden emphasized the importance of collaboration with other world leaders to achieve the administration’s goals in managing AI effectively.
Biden acknowledged the profound risks associated with AI if not properly regulated. To address these concerns, 15 American technology companies have voluntarily committed to implementing AI-related safety measures. These measures include water-marking AI-generated images and conducting safety testing. Additionally, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, has held multiple hearings on potential AI legislation, signaling bipartisan consensus on the need for regulation.
State officials, including California Governor Gavin Newsom, have also taken steps to regulate AI. Newsom recently signed an executive order directing state agencies to explore the use of AI and its potential harms. Furthermore, State Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco announced plans to tackle AI regulation in the upcoming legislative session.
Wiener’s proposed bill outlines a broad vision for creating a state agency or tasking an existing agency with guiding and regulating responsible AI development. The legislation would also hold AI developers accountable for ensuring their technology is not used maliciously. It would require companies working on AI models to conduct safety tests and provide the state with mitigation strategies to address any identified risks.
California has assumed a leadership role in AI regulation due to its concentration of AI technology companies and the relatively slow pace of federal regulation. While Wiener’s bill lacks specific details, it represents a proactive step towards AI regulation that surpasses any ongoing efforts at the federal level.
In addition to his AI-related announcement, President Biden revealed an investment of over $100 million in combating infections and addressing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The funding will be directed through the Biden-Harris administration’s Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.
President Biden’s visit to San Francisco also included two fundraising events before departing the state. The details of his executive order on AI and the upcoming AI regulation efforts in California showcase the increasing recognition of the need for responsible innovation and regulation in the AI industry. With the potential for both positive societal impact and risks, it is crucial to find a balance that maximizes the benefits while safeguarding against potential harms.