By Stacy M. Brown
Vice President Kamala Harris, as part of her official visit to the United Kingdom on Wednesday, announced a series of groundbreaking U.S. initiatives aimed at promoting the safe and responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI).
The White House claimed that the initiatives demonstrate America’s dedication to AI leadership and align with the historic executive order that President Biden signed in October.
The Biden-Harris administration has proactively addressed the promises and perils posed by AI since taking office, administration officials said. The initiatives aim to ensure that AI innovation doesn’t compromise public rights or safety.
In her effort to strengthen international norms for AI, Harris said she’s devoted to creating a set of rules and standards that reflect democratic values, including transparency, privacy, accountability, and consumer protection.
“We intend that the actions we are taking domestically will serve as a model for international action, understanding that AI developed in one nation can impact the lives and livelihoods of billions of people around the world,” the vice president asserted. “Fundamentally, it is our belief that technology with global impact requires global action.”
In May, Harris convened leading AI companies to secure voluntary commitments towards safe, secure, and transparent AI development. In July, she brought together stakeholders to discuss the risks associated with AI and emphasized that it is not a binary choice between innovation and consumer protection.
The White House listed some key initiatives that Harris plans to announce while in the United Kingdom, including:
- United States AI Safety Institute (US AISI): Established within the Department of Commerce, the US AISI will operationalize NIST’s AI Risk Management Framework. It will create guidelines, tools, benchmarks, and best practices for evaluating and mitigating dangerous AI capabilities, ensuring transparency, and facilitating privacy-preserving AI. The US AISI will foster international collaboration and engage experts from various sectors.
- Draft Policy Guidance on U.S. Government Use of AI: The Office of Management and Budget is releasing the first-ever draft policy guidance on AI use in government for public comments. This policy aims to promote responsible AI innovation, increase transparency and accountability, and protect federal workers. It will require AI impact assessments, risk monitoring and mitigation, training for AI operators, public consultation, and avenues for addressing AI-related harms.
- Political Declaration on Responsible Military Use of AI: Vice President Harris announced that 30 nations, including the United States and the U.K., have endorsed a Political Declaration on the Responsible Use of AI and Autonomy. This declaration outlines rules for the responsible creation and use of AI in the military. It stresses following international humanitarian law, safety measures, and thorough testing.
- New Funders Initiative: The Vice President announced a new initiative with ten leading philanthropic organizations committing over $200 million to advance AI priorities focused on democracy, worker empowerment, transparency, and international norms.
Additional actions include:
- Countering AI-Driven Fraudulent Phone Calls: The White House will host a hackathon to develop AI models that can detect and block AI-generated fraudulent calls and texts, particularly those using novel voice models that target vulnerable populations.
- International Norms on Content Authentication: The U.S. calls on nations to support the development of international standards to identify and trace authentic government-produced digital content and AI-generated or manipulated content.
- Pledge for Responsible AI Practices: The U.S. will work with the Freedom Online Coalition to develop a pledge for responsible and rights-respecting practices in government AI development, procurement, and use.
“Let us be clear,” Harris said. “When it comes to AI, America is a global leader. It is American companies that lead the world in AI innovation. It is America that can catalyze global action and build global consensus in a way that no other country can. And under President Joe Biden, America will continue to lead on AI.”
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