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White House AI Council Gathers to Address National Security Concerns

 |  January 29, 2024

The White House Artificial Intelligence Council is set to convene on Monday, marking a crucial meeting three months after President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at mitigating the risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI). The meeting, overseen by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed, comes as the federal government reports significant progress in implementing measures to address the challenges posed by AI technologies, reported Reuters.

Reed, in a statement released ahead of the council meeting, emphasized the urgency conveyed by President Biden’s directive to “move fast and fix things.” Over the past 90 days, nine key government agencies, including Defense, Transportation, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, have submitted risk assessments to the Department of Homeland Security as mandated by Biden’s executive order.

Despite this progress within the executive branch, efforts in Congress to pass legislation addressing AI-related concerns have encountered obstacles. Various high-level forums and legislative proposals aimed at regulating AI have stalled, highlighting the complexities associated with navigating the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence.

In a significant move on Friday, the Biden administration proposed new regulations that would require US cloud companies to implement “know your customer” rules. According to Reuters, this would involve determining whether foreign entities are accessing US data centers for training AI models. US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo emphasized the need to prevent unauthorized access to cloud data centers, citing concerns about non-state actors or foreign entities, particularly China, potentially leveraging American cloud infrastructure for malicious purposes.

Related: White House Invites Big Tech CEOs To Tackle AI Regulation

Raimondo also revealed that the Commerce Department plans to exert control over the export of sophisticated AI chips, mentioning Nvidia specifically. The department aims to prevent the shipment of high-processing-power AI chips that could enable China to advance its frontier AI models. This aligns with the broader strategy outlined in Biden’s executive order, which leverages the Defense Production Act to mandate developers of AI systems with potential risks to US national security, economy, public health, or safety to share safety test results with the government before public release.

The Commerce Department is gearing up to send survey requests to companies, requiring them to share critical information about their AI systems. Raimondo specified that companies will have a 30-day window to respond to these requests, underscoring the administration’s commitment to enhancing oversight and mitigating potential risks associated with the deployment of AI technologies.

As the White House AI Council meets to deliberate on the advancements and challenges in the AI landscape, the broader regulatory landscape in both the executive and legislative branches suggests a concerted effort to strike a delicate balance between fostering innovation and safeguarding national interests in the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence.

Source: Reuters