AI officers required for US federal agencies

AI officers required for US federal agencies

/ 12:25 PM April 02, 2024

Governments did not have laws specifically for artificial intelligence (AI) when ChatGPT came out. Eventually, authorities learned of its potential benefits and risks, so they’ve implemented AI regulations. 

The US government took precautionary measures to the next level by requiring federal agencies to assign AI officers.

Vice President Kamala Harris announced AI leaders are important to ensure organizations use this technology responsibly and safely. Otherwise, they must refrain from using artificial intelligence systems. 

Why does the US government need AI officers?

The White House says President Joe Biden released the United States’ AI executive order to “strengthen AI safety and security, protect Americans’ privacy, advance equity and civil rights, stand up for consumers and workers, and promote innovation and competition.”


READ: How governments and companies should advance trusted AI

Later, Vice President Harris announced a new Office of Management and Budget order to mitigate the risks of artificial intelligence. 

Her fact sheet says federal agencies must offer concrete AI safeguards to protect American rights and safety. It provides the following examples:

  • When at the airport, travelers will continue to have the ability to opt out of the use of TSA facial recognition without any delay or losing their place in line.
  • When AI is used in the Federal healthcare system to support critical diagnostics decisions, a human being is overseeing the process to verify the tools’ results and avoid disparities in healthcare access.
  • When AI is used to detect fraud in government services there is human oversight of impactful decisions and affected individuals have the opportunity to seek remedy for AI harms.

An agency must stop using an AI system if it cannot maintain these safety standards, and agencies must have AI officers who will uphold them, it adds.


READ: AI: a double-edged sword

Agency heads must likewise “coordinate the use of AI across their agencies,” while the Deputy Secretaries of these agencies must establish AI governance boards.


CBS News shared an embargoed statement from the VP. “We have directed all federal agencies to designate a chief AI officer with the experience, expertise, and authority to oversee all — I’m going to emphasize that — all AI technologies used by that agency,” Harris said.

“And this is to make sure that AI is used responsibly, understanding that we must have senior leaders across our government who are specifically tasked with overseeing AI adoption and use.”

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TOPICS: AI, Government
TAGS: AI, Government

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