Democrats ask Biden to put AI safeguards into executive order

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Democrats in the House and Senate urged President Biden to turn non-binding safeguards on artificial intelligence (AI) into policy through an executive order, according to a letter sent to the White House Wednesday. 

The letter, led by Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), recommends the Biden administration use the AI Bill of Rights, as a guide to set in place policy across the federal government through an upcoming AI executive order. 

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The non-binding AI Bill of Rights outlines five key principles to guide the design, use and deployment of AI technology, focused on safe and effective systems, algorithmic discrimination protections, data privacy, notice and explanation, and consideration of human alternatives. 

“By turning the AI Bill of Rights from a non-binding statement of principles into federal policy, your Administration would send a clear message to both private actors and federal regulators: AI systems must be developed with guardrails. Doing so would also strengthen your Administration’s efforts to advance racial equity and support underserved communities, building on important work from previous executive orders,” the Democrats wrote. 

Last month before meeting with the president’s council of advisors on science and technology in San Francisco, Biden said he would be taking executive action “so America leads the way toward responsible AI innovation.” 

In addition to the AI Bill of Rights, the Biden administration has also secured voluntary commitments aimed at managing risks posed by AI from top companies in the field, including Amazon, Google, OpenAI, Microsoft and Meta. 

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