Vianai's Thoughts on the Latest White House AI Actions

May 8, 2023

The AI landscape is hitting strides at hyper speeds lately, particularly with generative AI and the release and iterations of platforms like ChatGPT from OpenAI.

Technology providers are scrambling to enter or improve their position in the AI Race, without appropriate safeguards or oversight, or even self-imposed codes of conduct in place.

Enterprises across the public and private sectors are similarly racing to adopt these new technologies, whatever they might be - technologies that are not well understood - without their own internal guardrails or policies yet in place.

This state of disarray has led to warnings and exits and a call to pause further AI system training, and most recently now includes the White House stepping in to try to confront AI's progress with newly proposed actions.

White House Responsible AI Regulation Plans

The Biden-Harris Administration announced new actions yesterday to promote responsible AI innovation to continue improving our lives rather than steer us into dangerous territory. Vice President Harris and senior Administration officials met with the CEOs of several technology companies, including Alphabet (Google), Anthropic, Microsoft, and OpenAI.

The Administration has moved as fast as it can to keep up with developments with the first Blueprint of AI Rights published last year (which we had a part in here at Vianai), various executive actions, an AI Risk Management Framework, and a plan to create a National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource.

In this latest announcement, the Administration plans to:

  • Invest $140 million in funding to launch seven new National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes to bring the number to 25 to extend the reach into multiple states.
  • Launch a public evaluation of current generative AI systems from leading AI developers including Anthropic, Google, Hugging Face, Microsoft, NVIDIA, OpenAI, and Stability AI to ensure new technologies adhere to the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and AI Risk Management Framework.
  • Release more policies from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that the U.S. Government and federal departments and agencies are "leading by example on mitigating AI risks and harnessing AI opportunities" for state and local governments.

Vianai's Thoughts and the Human-Centered Solution

While we commend the Administration for taking steps to create safe and trustworthy AI systems, we know there is more to be done, especially as we work to integrate AI technology within the enterprise which will have an even greater effect on consumers worldwide. This latest federal effort, however, will open up more opportunities for legislation to help protect citizens while also keeping the U.S. competitive internationally.

The issue we foresee is that the Administration might be placing too significant a burden on the companies developing the technology, and relying on self-regulation. Those same companies are afraid of the others getting ahead and may fast-track development without safety guardrails in order to be first to develop the next big thing.

Our founder and CEO Vishal Sikka also has some valid insight on the topic:

"The Biden Administration's new actions to promote responsible AI reflect the urgent need for a transformative shift in the industry. There is great responsibility and care needed in developing and using AI. While it's an incredibly powerful technology that can benefit our everyday lives, the risks associated with AI today cannot be understated: even users with the best of intentions could, with the right misstep, inadvertently cause harm with AI, so responsible AI development and deployment is critical.

We need to bring the benefits of AI to users, in ways that are human-centered and designed to amplify human capabilities - not replace them, nor endanger them. Bringing the power of human understanding together with data and AI technology can help to build intelligent systems that significantly improve business outcomes and processes, as human feedback will naturally enhance AI performance and output, and vice versa.

Ensuring humans are centered in the development, implementation, and use of AI tools paired with a robust framework for monitoring, diagnosing, improving and validating AI models will help to mitigate the risks and dangers inherent in these types of systems. These new actions from the Biden administration are very important steps in ensuring we are building trustworthy systems that are safe, reliable and amplify our humanity, with the power of AI."

At Vianai, we are committed to building trustworthy AI systems that are safe and reliable, especially as we partner with companies to integrate these systems into their business processes.

To hear Dr. Vishal Sikka talk about the current state of AI, the hype vs. reality, and the steps we need to take to ensure AI system safety, check out Our Video Series About Human-Centered AI.