Joe Biden signs sweeping order to regulate AI in U.S, days before Sunak’s AI safety summit

This follows the White House announcement in July that seven AI companies had agreed to voluntarily comply with safety standards for AI.

Updated - October 31, 2023 10:07 am IST

Published - October 30, 2023 09:35 pm IST - London

File photo of U.S. President Joe Biden.

File photo of U.S. President Joe Biden. | Photo Credit: Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden, on Monday, signed an executive order to enable wide-ranging regulation of artificial intelligence (AI). Mr Biden’s order comes days before U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park, as countries race to keep up with rapidly evolving AI technology.

Mr Biden’s order invokes the Defense Production Act , last used to give the U.S. federal government powers to direct production during the Covid-19 pandemic. Using this law, companies developing AI systems will be required to notify the U.S. federal government of technologies that have implications for U.S. national security, national economic security, or national public health and share results of certain safety tests. Monday’s action establishes a AI Safety and Security Board and orders the instituting of safety testing.

This follows the White House announcement in July that seven AI companies — Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft, and OpenAI — had agreed to voluntarily comply with safety standards for AI.

Mr. Biden , on Monday, also called on the U.S. Congress to pass bipartisan privacy legislation on Monday. The order seeks to ensure that AI does not exacerbate discrimination – such as by issuing guidelines to landlords and federal contractors. While it does not provide details, it broadly encourages the use of AI in education.

Mr. Biden directed his administration to expand bilateral, multilateral and multistakeholder consultations on AI, with a view to building a “strong international framework”, the White House said.

A ‘fact sheet’ released by the White House said the Biden administration had widely consulted on an international framework – and had engaged a number of countries including India, the E.U., the U.K., Japan, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, South Korea, Israel and Kenya.

“The actions taken today support and complement Japan’s leadership of the G-7 Hiroshima Process, the UK Summit on AI Safety, India’s leadership as Chair of the Global Partnership on AI, and ongoing discussions at the United Nations,” the White House said.

Also Read |A to I of artificial intelligence

“… the Indian government will be closely tracking the implementation of this order, as it prepares to convene a meeting in New Delhi this December as the Chair of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI). Prime Minister Modi emphasised during the G20 summit that a global framework on AI was essential, and the GPAI presents an important opportunity for India to lead the global debate,” Amlan Mohanty, a technology policy scholar associated with Carnegie India, told The Hindu.

Mr. Sunak has had to pare down his ambition for the U.K. to lead the world on AI regulation, with other countries reacting tepidly to his plans or moving ahead with their own regulation. The European Union (E.U.) has led the West in regulating A.I. , having passed tough draft legislation earlier this year.

 Several G-7 leaders, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mr Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are not attending the summit.

 U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will attend  the UK’s AI summit in Bletchley Park this week. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and European Commission’s President, Ursula von der Leyen are confirmed attendees.  

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.