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AI executive order hits 6-month mark

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's been six months since President Biden signed his AI executive order, and the White House says federal agencies are hitting all their deadlines.

Why it matters: The executive order is what's driving U.S. AI regulation as Congress moves at a much slower pace.

For the April 27 deadline, agencies created frameworks and guidelines to mitigate risks related to dangerous biological materials, critical infrastructure and software, according to the White House.

  • The public is now able to comment on ways to manage generative AI risks, and those comments will help build on NIST's AI Risk Management framework.
  • A 22-member AI Safety and Security Board was launched to advise DHS and the private sector.
  • DOD made progress on a pilot for AI to address national security and military software vulnerabilities.

On civil rights and equity, HUD affirmed discrimination prohibitions apply to AI use for tenant screening and advertisement of housing opportunities.

  • There's now guidance for how all levels of government should manage the risk of using AI in SNAP and other public benefit programs.

Efforts to hire tech talent also progressed, as agencies have hired more than 150 AI professionals and are on track to hire hundreds by this summer.

  • Ben Buchanan, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy assistant director, told Axios he's no longer worried about persuading people to work for the government instead of the private sector on AI.
  • "We have just been flooded with applications of really high-quality people at all different stages of their career ... who know they're going to get paid less, who know frankly in some cases the bureaucracy will be worse, but who are motivated by the sense of mission."

Behind the scenes: Agency workers are taking on the executive order in addition to the work they were already doing.

  • Buchanan: "We didn't take things off their plate. It has to be that way because AI is changing those jobs, it's changing those fields."

What's next: By May 27, agencies must designate a chief artificial intelligence officer, together with AI governance boards.

  • Another set of tasks must be completed by June 26, with the Commerce Department set to submit a report to kick off the process of instructing the government how to authenticate its content.
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