USA announces government-wide AI policy – Passenger Terminal Today

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The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is issuing its first government-wide policy to mitigate risks of artificial intelligence (AI) and harness its benefits.

In line with the President’s AI Executive Order, OMB’s new policy states that by December 1, 2024, federal agencies will be required to implement concrete safeguards when using AI in a way that could impact Americans’ rights or safety. These safeguards include a range of mandatory actions to reliably assess, test and monitor AI’s impacts on the public, mitigate the risks of algorithmic discrimination and provide the public with transparency into how the government uses AI.

These safeguards apply to a wide range of AI applications, including travel. For example, when at the airport, travelers will continue to have the ability to opt out from the use of Transportation Security Administration facial recognition without any delay or losing their place in line.

The policy notes that if an agency cannot apply safeguards, it must cease using the AI system, unless agency leadership justifies why doing so would increase risks to safety or rights overall or would create an unacceptable impediment to critical agency operations.

The OMB policy requires federal agencies to improve public transparency in their use of AI by requiring agencies to publicly release expanded annual inventories of their AI use cases, including identifying use cases that impact rights or safety and how the agency is addressing the relevant risks; report metrics about the agency’s AI use cases that are withheld from the public inventory because of their sensitivity; notify the public of any AI exempted by a waiver from complying with any element of the OMB policy, along with justifications for why; and release government-owned AI code, models and data, where such releases do not pose a risk to the public or government operations.

The guidance also advises federal agencies on managing risks specific to their procurement of AI. Later this year, OMB will take action to ensure that agencies’ AI contracts align with OMB policy and protect the rights and safety of the public from AI-related risks.

OMB’s policy will also remove unnecessary barriers to federal agencies’ responsible AI innovation. AI technology presents tremendous opportunities to help agencies address society’s most pressing challenges.

To ensure accountability, leadership and oversight for the use of AI in the federal government, the OMB policy requires federal agencies to designate chief AI officers and establish AI Governance Boards.

The White House said OMB will issue a request for information (RFI) on Responsible Procurement of AI in Government, to inform future OMB action to govern AI use under federal contracts.

In related news, US secretary of homeland security Alejandro N Mayorkas and chief information officer (CIO) and chief artificial intelligence officer Eric Hysen have announced the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) first Artificial Intelligence Roadmap. Click here to read the full story.

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