Additional Steps Taken by the White House in AI R&D and Governance

Published: May 24, 2023

Federal Market AnalysisArtificial Intelligence/Machine LearningInformation TechnologyPolicy and Legislation

The Biden Administration announces three new actions in the race for AI research, deployment and regulation.

Yesterday, the White House issued three announcements to advance the R&D and regulation of artificial intelligence. The benefits and risks of AI, particularly with the recent accelerated emergence of generative AI, continue to pique the interest of top officials in both the executive and legislative branches as the U.S. looks to protect and strengthen its position in delivering the transformative technology,

“President Biden has been clear that in order to seize the opportunities AI presents, we must first manage its risks. To that end, the Administration has taken significant action to promote responsible AI innovation that places people, communities, and the public good at the center, and manages risks to individuals and our society, security, and economy,” according to the White House statement.

Among the announcements includes an update to NITRD’s National AI R&D Strategic Plan. The plan, originally issued in 2016 and then updated in 2019, previously detailed eight strategies:

  1. Make long term investments in fundamental and responsible AI research
  2. Develop effective methods for human-AI collaboration
  3. Understand and address ethical, legal, and societal implications of AI
  4. Ensure the safety and security of AI systems
  5. Develop shared public datasets and environments for AI training and testing
  6. Measure and evaluate AI systems through standards and benchmarks
  7. Better understand the national AI R&D workforce needs
  8. Expand public-private partnerships to accelerate advances in AI

In addition to reaffirming the first eight strategies and incorporating recent examples, the latest update adds a ninth strategy: Establish a principled and coordinated approach to international collaboration in AI research. Given AI’s global reach, AI R&D requires ongoing collaboration among international entities in infrastructure, data, secure information sharing, workforce talent, and standards.

Specifically, the newest update to the strategic plan touts cultivating a global culture on trustworthy AI and supporting the development of global AI systems and frameworks. Moreover, the plan encourages agencies to bolster AI R&D recruitment and internship programs and facilitate workforce exchanges with academia, private sector, and state and local governments. The plan also instructs AI R&D for global benefit, particularly in areas of health, natural disasters, pollution, and agriculture.

The White House announcement also includes a new Request for Information issued by the OSTP for public input on an upcoming National AI Strategy. “By developing a National AI Strategy, the Federal Government will provide a whole-of-society approach to AI. The strategy will pay particular attention to recent and projected advances in AI, to make sure that the United States is responsive to the latest opportunities and challenges posed by AI, as well as the global changes that will arrive in the coming years,” according to the RFI.

OSTP is seeking comments on nearly 30 questions pertaining to: protecting rights, safety and national security, advancing AI equity and democracy, promoting economic growth, and innovating public services.

Lastly, the latest White House announcement introduces a new report, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Teaching and Learning: Insights and Recommendations. The report centers on the Department of Education’s commitment to advancing AI for educators and students, and provides recommendations for teachers, policy makers and researchers on the policies and issues that arise as AI is used in education.

The White House announcement follows a series of actions the Biden Administration has taken towards improving AI advancements and regulations, including issuance of the AI Bill of Rights, and NIST’s AI Risk Management Framework. Last month, the White House hosted a session with leading companies in AI to discuss strengthening responsible AI. This week, the White House will host a listening session with employees on the affects of AI in the workplace and economy. An upcoming OMB guidance on the use of AI systems, as well as the expected National AI Strategy, reveals there is no deceleration of USG priority in AI research, development, and policy.