Biden’s AI EO: A Broad But Limited Step Towards AI Legislation


The Biden administration has announced a long-awaited Executive Order (EO) on Artificial Intelligence (AI), signaling the government’s intent to address the opportunities and risks associated with this rapidly evolving technology. However, experts and stakeholders have highlighted that the EO’s impact is constrained as it lacks the support of comprehensive legislation.

Key Takeaway

The Executive Order on AI issued by President Biden serves as a temporary measure to address AI risks and abuses. While it provides a framework for best practices, guidance, and sharing of results, it lacks the comprehensive legislative measures required for robust AI regulation. The development of a federal agency dedicated to AI regulation, although challenging, could provide a more effective long-term solution.

A Temporary Solution: Filling the Gaps with Voluntary Practices

The limitations of presidential authority without legislative backing mean that the EO primarily reinforces the “voluntary” practices that many companies have already adopted. It encourages sharing of AI results, developing best practices, and providing clear guidance. While these actions are steps in the right direction, they fall short of addressing the full range of potential risks and abuses associated with AI.

The Complex Challenge of Legislation

The absence of a comprehensive AI law highlights the difficulties governments face in regulating this fast-paced industry. Technology has advanced so quickly that any legislative rule would likely be outdated before its passage. Furthermore, there is ongoing debate as to which aspects of AI regulation should be addressed through legislation, state laws, or expert agency oversight.

A Need for Dedicated Regulation

Creating a federal agency solely focused on AI regulation could be a prudent approach, but this cannot be achieved through executive order alone. Establishing such an agency would necessitate congressional support and the allocation of resources. In the absence of comprehensive legislation, the EO does, however, instruct various AI-focused groups, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, to handle and assess reports of AI-related harms in healthcare.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *