The White House today issued a sweeping executive order on artificial intelligence that “establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world.”
This is a bold step forward that will provide a dose of needed clarity to this fast-evolving world. The public sector can and should leverage AI to improve government service delivery, but it needs to do so with equity, transparency, and responsibility.
At Code for America, we work shoulder to shoulder with federal, state, and local government partners, many of whom have significant questions about how to implement AI in a way that can be integrated with existing programs, protect client data, and support equity and reduce algorithm bias.
This executive order will help build confidence in AI for government. One example: The Department of Commerce will develop guidance for content authentication and transparency, and federal agencies will use these tools to make it easy for Americans to know that the communications they receive from their government are authentic—and set an example for other government agencies as well.
Yet, we know that this is just a start. That’s why at Code for America we will be launching a significant effort to understand how agencies should adopt and implement AI safely and responsibly in government—and this will be a major theme of our Summit next year.
Ultimately, those working in government and the civic tech space need to understand best practices for implementing AI in a responsible, equitable manner. This executive order is a big step in the right direction, though much more work in this space will be needed down the road.