President Joe Biden’s recent executive order on artificial intelligence (AI) has significant implications for employers and international hiring. The order emphasizes the need for minimum risk practices when utilizing generative AI and places a strong focus on protecting the rights and safety of individuals, particularly workers. This executive order is likely to lead to new regulations and agency guidance that will impact businesses and their employees.
One of the key requirements outlined in the executive order is for the Department of Justice and federal civil rights offices to collaborate on developing best practices for investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations related to AI. These practices will cover various areas including job displacement, labor standards, workplace equity, health, safety, and data collection. The intention is to prevent employers from undercompensating workers, engaging in unfair job evaluations, or restricting workers’ ability to organize.
The executive order also calls for a report on the potential labor-market impacts of AI and seeks to identify ways to strengthen federal support for workers facing job disruptions caused by AI and other technological advancements. The report, to be prepared by the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, will assess the effects of AI on the labor market. Additionally, the Secretary of Labor will submit a report analyzing the abilities of agencies to assist workers displaced by AI adoption. This report will provide principles and best practices for employers to mitigate potential harm to employees’ well-being and maximize the benefits of AI. Employers should anticipate further guidance once this report is finalized in April 2024.
Interestingly, the executive order also aims to facilitate increased international employment by recognizing the need for skilled workers in developing and utilizing generative AI. Biden intends to use existing authorities to expand opportunities for highly skilled immigrants and nonimmigrants with expertise in critical areas to study, work, and stay in the United States. By streamlining visa criteria, interviews, and reviews, the executive order may simplify the process for U.S. employers to access skilled workers from overseas.
Moving forward, employers using AI for recruitment or decision-making must be aware of the potential biases associated with the technology and ensure human oversight to address them. Collaboration with employment lawyers and implementing multiple checks and balances on recruiting practices will be essential for businesses employing generative AI.
While this executive order is just the initial step, it has significant implications. As these actions are implemented in the coming months, it is crucial to stay updated and informed. Employers must be aware of the potential impact on their operations and adapt accordingly.
The guidelines provided in this executive order demonstrate President Biden’s commitment to harnessing AI’s potential while safeguarding individuals’ rights and promoting a fair and equitable workplace. Employers should proactively assess their AI practices and remain vigilant as additional guidance and regulations emerge. With the right approach and adherence to best practices, businesses can navigate the changing AI landscape successfully and leverage its benefits while prioritizing the well-being of their workforce.