The order is only a step, however, and it leaves unresolved the issue of comprehensive data privacy legislation. Without such laws, people are at greater risk of AI systems revealing sensitive or confidential information.
Understanding AI risks
Technology is typically evaluated for performance, cost and quality, but often not equity, fairness and transparency. In response, researchers and practitioners of responsible AI have been advocating for:
Another important initiative outlined in the executive order is probing for vulnerabilities of very large-scale general-purpose AI models trained on massive amounts of data, such as the models that power OpenAI’s ChatGPT or DALL-E. The order requires companies that build large AI systems with the potential to affect national security, public health or the economy to perform red teaming and report the results to the government. Red teaming is using manual or automated methods to attempt to force an AI model to produce harmful output – for example, make offensive or dangerous statements like advice on how to sell drugs.
Similarly, the public is at risk of being fooled by AI-generated content. To address this, the executive order directs the Department of Commerce to develop guidance for labeling AI-generated content. Federal agencies will be required to use AI watermarking – technology that marks content as AI-generated to reduce fraud and misinformation – though it’s not required for the private sector.