Government Affairs and Lobbying Section: Executive Order on New Standards for AI Safety and Security

October 31, 2023

By: Doyle Bartlett and Lily Israel

On Monday, October 30, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Along with issuing the Executive Order, President Biden spoke to industry leaders, members of Congress, and members of his Cabinet to highlight the five pillars of this Executive Order (EO). These pillars are summarized as follows. 

1. Ensure the U.S. sets the standard for safety, security, and trust in AI.

  • AI is the most consequential technology of this time. The EO ensures that it will be properly governed and regulated. The EO demands responsible innovation.
  • President Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act to ensure companies prove that their most powerful AI systems are safe before allowing them to be used. Using the Defense Production Act signals the high priority of this issue.
  • Companies that develop foundation models posing a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety will be required to put their AI models through rigorous safety tests and share the results with the federal government.
  • The Department of Energy will ensure AI systems don’t pose a chemical, biological, or nuclear threat.
  • The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense will address AI system threats and enhance cybersecurity protections.
  • The EO will prevent cutting-edge AI chips from being used to undermine national security.
  • Agencies that fund life-science projects will establish new standards for biological synthesis screening.
  • The National Security Council and White House Chief of Staff will develop a National Security Memorandum directing further actions on AI and security to ensure its safe, ethical, and effective use.
  • The EO ensures that AI’s abilities are harnessed, and its potential harms - like creating addictive social media - are mitigated.

2. Develop AI systems that Americans and people around the world.

  • In an age of misinformation, people use AI to create “deep fakes,” smear the reputation of others, commit fraud, and create fake audio.
  • The Department of Commerce will develop guidelines for content authentication and watermarking to label AI-generated content clearly.
  • The federal government will ensure that Americans know that the information they receive from the government is authentic.

3. Protect fundamental rights.

  • President Biden called on Congress to pass bipartisan data privacy legislation to protect all Americans, especially kids.
  • The federal government is helping to accelerate the development of privacy-preserving technologies.
  • Civil rights leaders nationwide will be consulted to prevent AI bias by property owners, federal contractors, and federal programs. Clear guidelines will be provided to keep AI algorithms from exacerbating discrimination.
  • The Department of Justice is directed to prosecute AI violations.
  • The EO builds on the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and the previously issued Executive Order directing agencies to combat algorithmic discrimination, ensuring AI advances equity and civil rights.

4. Ensure emerging technologies work for consumers.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services will establish a safety program to receive reports of and act to remedy harm or unsafe healthcare practices involving AI.
  • AI will be used to protect patients by helping to develop drugs that are more effective and less expensive.
  • AI will be regulated to ensure it is not short-changing workers.
  • Directs the government to create resources to support AI-enabled educational tools.
  • A comprehensive report will be produced on AI’s potential labor-market impacts. It will study and identify ways the federal government can help workers impacted by AI.

5. Ensure America leads the world in innovation.

  • The National AI Research Resource Pilot and expanded research grants will catalyze AI research across the U.S.
  • The Federal Trade Commission is encouraged to use its authorities to promote a fair, open, and competitive AI ecosystem.
  • Existing authorities will be used to expand the ability of highly skilled immigrants and nonimmigrants with expertise in critical areas to study, stay, and work in the U.S. by streamlining visa criteria, interviews, and reviews.
  • Beginning with Vice President Harris’ trip to the UK for a global summit on AI safety this week, global leaders will turn to the U.S. for help with AI.
  • The EO creates the first-ever international code of conduct to safely regulate AI.

On Tuesday, October 31, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will lead a bipartisan group of members of Congress to assist President Biden in emphasizing the need for Congress to pass legislation on AI. President Biden said this legislation should ban targeted advertising to children and limit the data that companies, mainly social media companies, can collect on individuals. The President said this is an inflection point in history, and there is no greater change than the potential AI presents.


Contact GrayRobinson Washington, D.C. Managing Shareholder Doyle Bartlett or a member of the Government Affairs and Lobbying Section.