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What the AI EO could mean for government work

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Mar 27, 2024
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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The AI executive order lays out a strict timeline over the next year for agencies to make big changes to their workplaces.

Why it matters: How the federal government uses AI in everyday work will provide a model for the rest of the country.

Driving the news: Over the next year, agencies are tasked with hitting deadlines calling for new reports and best practices related to hiring, government acquisitions and more.

By Thursday, OMB must issue guidance to agencies to "strengthen the effective and appropriate use of AI, advance AI innovation, and manage risks from AI in the Federal Government," per the EO.

  • 60 days later, agencies must designate a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, together with AI governance boards.

By April 27, the AI and Technology Talent Task Force will send a report to the president on progress related to hiring and maintaining AI talent, with the OPM establishing guidance on the best ways to do so.

  • The Pentagon will report to the president on what can be done to address gaps in AI talent for defense.
  • DHS and DOD will "identify, develop, test, evaluate, and deploy AI capabilities, such as large-language models" to find and fix vulnerabilities in government software and networks.

By July 26, the Energy Department will have a plan for analyzing the "nuclear, nonproliferation, biological, chemical, critical infrastructure, and energy-security threats or hazards" posed by AI models.

  • Under that same deadline, the Chief Data Officer Council will have guidelines for security reviews on misusing federal data.

By October 29, the attorney general will submit a report on the use of AI in the criminal justice system.

The bottom line: By the end of the year, we'll have a much clearer idea of how the government is using AI in hiring, federal work and risk management if all the deadlines are met.

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