President Joe Biden has signed a landmark executive order focused on the safety of artificial intelligence (AI). This move comes as AI continues to revolutionize various industries, including technology and marketing. The order mandates that companies developing advanced AI models must share the results of their safety tests with the federal government, a requirement that was previously voluntary. The aim of these measures is to ensure that AI systems are safe, secure, and trustworthy before they are made public.
The executive order, which runs almost 20,000 words long, is based on the Defense Protection Act, a law passed in 1950 during the Korean War. It grants the president the authority to expedite industrial production in response to national security threats. In addition to increased federal oversight of AI model training in the private sector, the order calls on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to create a framework for AI safety testing. It also urges the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enhance consumer protection efforts, eases visa requirements for foreign AI experts looking to work in the United States, and initiates other actions aimed at promoting the responsible deployment of AI and positioning the US as a leader in AI regulation.
While experts view this executive order as a significant step toward establishing reliable guardrails for AI, it is important to note that it is not a law. Only Congress has the authority to pass legislation, and this process often takes a considerable amount of time. The fact sheet released by the White House emphasizes that more action will be required, and the administration will continue to collaborate with Congress to pursue bipartisan legislation that supports responsible AI innovation.
The immediate impact of the executive order on brands using AI in their marketing efforts is likely to be minimal since it primarily highlights the need for future regulation. However, it could signal potential upcoming changes. For instance, the order indicates that the federal government will increase regulation on commercially available information containing personally identifiable data. This measure could impact data brokers and other participants in the data market, such as adtech platforms, by reducing the market size.
Martin Adams, co-founder of AI companies Codec.ai and Metaphysic.ai, suggests that the executive order should prompt brands to reflect more deeply on their AI strategies. While it may not result in an immediate shift in the use of specific AI tools, it could create pressure and encourage a closer examination of data usage, potential biases, and privacy concerns during the data-gathering and model-building processes.
The executive order could also change some marketers’ perception of AI, as it signifies genuine interest from the federal government in AI safety. James Young, BBDO’s head of digital innovation, North America, believes that the order will have a largely positive impact on the advertising and production industries, potentially providing a stamp of approval for expanding the implementation of AI in marketing.
In a parallel development, the UK government, represented by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, released the Bletchley Declaration just two days after President Biden signed the executive order. The declaration, signed by representatives from 28 countries attending the AI Summit in Bletchley Park, acknowledges the risks associated with AI and aims to establish a framework for international cooperation to ensure its responsible deployment.
While the recent AI policy initiatives from the US and UK largely serve as symbolic demonstrations of intentions, they represent steps in the right direction. The willingness to cooperate and set signals regarding AI regulation is crucial, but meaningful action is still awaited.
In conclusion, President Joe Biden’s executive order on AI safety marks an important milestone in establishing regulations around AI. Although it is not a law, the order emphasizes the need for future legislation and collaboration with Congress. While the immediate impact on brands using AI in marketing is limited, it highlights the importance of reflection on AI strategies. The order also has the potential to impact the data market by increasing federal regulation on personally identifiable data. Furthermore, the UK’s Bletchley Declaration demonstrates international efforts to safeguard the responsible deployment of AI. While symbolic in nature, these initiatives represent positive steps toward establishing robust AI regulations.