Department of Homeland Security Advances AI Agenda with New Leadership and Guidelines, US

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Department of Homeland Security Advances AI Agenda with New Leadership and Guidelines

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is making significant strides in incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into its agency operations. With the appointment of new leadership and the introduction of fresh guidelines, DHS is committed to driving its AI-related agenda forward.

DHS recently announced the creation of the inaugural position of Chief AI Officer, with Eric Hysen, the agency’s chief information officer and Artificial Intelligence Task Force co-chair, taking on this role. Hysen will play a crucial role in promoting the responsible and effective use of AI while prioritizing safety protocols. He will also provide advice on AI policy and practice to Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other agency leaders. It’s important for the department to stay up-to-date with the rapidly evolving technology in a transparent and respectful manner, ensuring the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of every individual they serve.

To further advance the adoption of AI technologies in DHS missions, the AI task force introduced two new policies:

1. Policy Statement 139-06: This policy establishes a set of defined principles that DHS should adhere to when utilizing AI in agency operations. These principles align with President Donald Trump’s December 2020 executive order on trustworthy AI in government operations. The policy emphasizes that DHS will not collect, use, or disseminate data used in AI activities that involve the inappropriate consideration of characteristics such as race, gender, or ethnicity. It specifically states that DHS will not use AI technology to improperly profile, target, discriminate against individuals or entities, or enable improper systemic surveillance or tracking of individuals.

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2. Directive 026-11: This directive focuses on preventing the inappropriate usage of biometric systems, particularly facial recognition technology. While facial recognition technologies are authorized for specific DHS missions, the directive reinforces the importance of conducting regular testing to ensure these systems are not being misused or leveraged illegally. It is vital for DHS to employ facial recognition technology in a manner that upholds privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties, while strictly prohibiting unlawful surveillance or tracking of individuals.

The introduction of these policies and guidelines reflects the department’s commitment to responsible and ethical AI usage. The initiative has garnered support from various perspectives, with Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., commending Secretary Mayorkas for his leadership. Clarke emphasizes the importance of updating federal government procurement policies to incentivize the private sector towards the development and use of responsible and safe AI. This step is crucial considering the potential risks associated with biases, discrimination, and lack of explainability that have been observed in the use of AI technologies in the past. The federal government needs to keep pace with emerging technologies while safeguarding privacy and civil liberties enshrined within the Constitution.

The DHS AI agenda showcases the agency’s dedication to harnessing the power of AI effectively while ensuring accountability and protecting the rights of individuals. With the newly appointed Chief AI Officer, Eric Hysen, at the helm and the implementation of robust policies, DHS is well-positioned to navigate the evolving AI landscape responsibly and transparently.

Keywords: DHS, Department of Homeland Security, AI, artificial intelligence, leadership, guidelines, Chief AI Officer, Eric Hysen, policy, principle, facial recognition technology, biometric systems, responsible AI usage, privacy, civil rights, civil liberties

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) doing to incorporate AI technologies?

The DHS is making significant strides in incorporating AI technologies into its agency operations. It has appointed a new Chief AI Officer to promote responsible and effective use of AI, provide advice on AI policy and practice, and prioritize safety protocols.

Who is the current Chief AI Officer of DHS?

Eric Hysen, the agency's chief information officer and Artificial Intelligence Task Force co-chair, is the current Chief AI Officer of DHS.

What guidelines has the DHS introduced regarding AI usage?

The DHS has introduced two new policies. Policy Statement 139-06 establishes principles that DHS should adhere to when utilizing AI, emphasizing that DHS will not use AI technology in a way that involves inappropriate consideration of characteristics such as race, gender, or ethnicity. Directive 026-11 focuses on preventing the inappropriate usage of biometric systems, particularly facial recognition technology.

What does the policy statement emphasize regarding the usage of AI in DHS operations?

The policy statement emphasizes that DHS will not collect, use, or disseminate data used in AI activities that involve the inappropriate consideration of characteristics such as race, gender, or ethnicity. It specifically states that DHS will not use AI technology to improperly profile, discriminate, or enable improper systemic surveillance or tracking of individuals.

What does Directive 026-11 focus on?

Directive 026-11 focuses on preventing the inappropriate usage of biometric systems, particularly facial recognition technology. It reinforces the importance of regular testing to ensure these systems are not being misused or leveraged illegally and emphasizes the need to uphold privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

Who commended Secretary Mayorkas for his leadership in this AI initiative?

Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., commended Secretary Mayorkas for his leadership in this AI initiative.

Why is updating federal government procurement policies important in incentivizing the development and use of responsible and safe AI?

Updating federal government procurement policies is important in incentivizing the development and use of responsible and safe AI because it helps address potential risks associated with biases, discrimination, and lack of explainability. It ensures that emerging technologies are used in a manner that safeguards privacy and civil liberties enshrined within the Constitution.

What is the role of the newly appointed Chief AI Officer in advancing the DHS AI agenda?

The newly appointed Chief AI Officer, Eric Hysen, will play a crucial role in promoting the responsible and effective use of AI, advising on AI policy and practice, and prioritizing safety protocols. They will also provide guidance to Secretary Mayorkas and other agency leaders, ensuring the department stays up-to-date with evolving technology in a transparent and respectful manner.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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