Biden Admin Artificial Intelligence Executive Order & OMB Guidance: Some thoughts & a calendar

Take what I say here with a grain of salt because my old team worked on this (and I worked on earlier iterations and the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights). 

Now that I've had a chance to read the U.S. AI Executive Order (here's a version of the order that prints in fewer pagesand the accompanying -- and equally important -- Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Draft AI Guidance, I wanted to share a couple of thoughts and a calendar to help folks who are tracking the various deliverables assigned in the AI Order and the OMB AI Guidance.

President Biden speaking at the AI Order signing ceremony.

Much has been said about the size of AI Order but what struck me about it was its willingness to contain tensions. It has provisions dealing with concerns about AGI and existential threats as well as the current and historical harms from AI that are impacting people now. It has numerous specific provisions that are more national security focused and also many that are more typical of domestic policy and equity. It has a number of provisions that may impose burdens on new entrants to the AI space but also provisions that would radically lower barriers to entry. It addresses numerous AI harms but also contains provisions that recognize and  seek to catalyze its benefits. 

All of this speaks to the nuanced understanding of AI that exists in the federal government from President Biden to the various folks working day to day on getting the Order together. I believe that's a product of greater tech fluency throughout the White House and federal agencies and the way the White House has prioritized AI policy.

Another striking thing about the AI Order is the sheer volume of deliverables it launches. I'm going to want to see what becomes of them, so I made an AI Order and OMB AI Guidance Calendar (and in iCal). It might be helpful to you too. You can import it into your Google or iCal calendar. Please let me know if I got a date wrong or missed one.

The calendar only contains entries tied to dates and contains one hundred entries. There were a lot more actions that eitherstarted immediately or were not associated with a date by which they had to be done. 

In creating the calendar, it was also striking that the AI Order requires some deliverables that are quite distant from today. I'm generally pretty skeptical of requirements far in the future for the reasons Jen Pahlka describes so well in her great book Recoding America.

I will add more entries from the OMB AI Guidance once it is finalized but for now the calendar contains the most important one: December 5, 2023, the date that comments are due. There is a helpful guide to commenting on the Guidance as well as a page for submitting comments. Please consider giving it a read and submitting comments.

I'm excited that the AI Order and draft OMB AI Guidance are out in the world and look forward to hearing what folks think about them.

A good group of the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights team posing together at the AI Order signing ceremony.