Biden’s AI Executive Order Creates Opportunities for Business Leaders

Biden’s AI Executive Order Creates Opportunities for Business Leaders

by Octavio Laos, Derrick Magdefrau
November 10, 2023

On October 30, 2023, President Biden issued a landmark executive order on artificial intelligence (AI), shaping how America can continue to lead the way in this technology and manage risks as they arise. This regulatory action is an opportunity for business leaders to answer key AI questions about their people, technology and compliance.

What’s In the AI Executive Order?

At a high level, the Executive Order on Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence empowers several government agencies to enact new regulations to achieve safety, security and privacy goals by tracking AI’s capabilities and risks, monitoring who has access to AI and how the tools are used.

Unsurprisingly, much of the order focuses on how federal agencies use AI and regulate AI developers. It covers eight major actions that will affect all businesses at some point and in some way, including new standards for AI safety and security, protecting Americans’ privacy, advancing equity and civil rights, standing up for consumers and workers, promoting innovation and competition and advancing America’s leadership around the world.

How the Executive Order Affects Your Business Now

While all areas of the order could affect your organization soon, the protections introduced under the “supporting workers” section of the order may be the most applicable right now. It reads:

“Develop principles and best practices to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers by addressing job displacement, labor standards, workplace equity, health, and safety and data collection. These principles and best practices will benefit workers by providing guidance to prevent employers from undercompensating workers, evaluating job applications unfairly or impinging on workers’ ability to organize.”

What does this mean for your AI efforts?

Although the order doesn’t call for any specific AI rules related to employee compensation and output yet, it does beg the question of how a company should prepare today from a people, technology and compliance standpoint. Here are our recommendations:

Don’t stop your digital transformation activities. It’s understandable to pause, especially as new rules and best practices evolve. As you pursue digital transformation, you don’t want a change to be regulated out of existence or feasibility.

However, we still see incorporating AI into your business as a positive. Federal agencies adopting AI strengthens the case and serves as an AI endorsement. Most of the Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence framework seems focused on how to better foster an AI-enabled future.

Know who will own AI regulatory compliance. This might be the most important consideration of this executive order: Who will you put in charge of ensuring your AI policies comply with this framework? You can envision the roles that may occur in the near future — AI ethics officer, privacy compliance manager, AI safety engineer, etc.

Ethical quandaries and nuance are still primarily human tasks and will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future. Now is the time to plan who will ensure human and AI collaboration in your organization.

At the department level, the order determines a need for a chief artificial intelligence officer (CAIO) to oversee risks and implementations of AI. It isn’t a leap to think this type of role will be needed in the private sector as well, especially if an outcome of the order is increased liability for the use of AI models.

As the public sector creates and continues to fill these valuable AI roles, it will only contribute to the race to secure top AI talent. While the order eases some immigration burdens for AI-trained individuals, the demand for these roles will only continue to increase.

Incorporate AI compliance into your business strategy. It's apparent that you will have to ensure accountability with AI technologies, and you need to begin planning. Starting this conversation now — on what guidelines, processes and people you need in place — is critical to being prepared for what’s next. Failure to have a coherent AI strategy today will cause pain in the future.

Are You AI and Risk Ready?

As we see real-world AI use cases continue to expand, compliance complexity will only increase. Stay ahead of new AI governance and innovation challenges with a focused AI strategy. Reach out to our AI experts to see how you can incorporate the proper people, technology and compliance actions to improve efficiency, reduce overhead and enhance competitiveness.

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Octavio Laos - Growth Office | Armanino
Senior Manager
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