What's the deal about Biden's Executive Order on AI
The US gov released an executive order about regulation and reporting standards for AI. The order requires developers of powerful AI systems to share safety testing results with the government before public release.
What's going on here?
The US government is taking steps to regulate AI safety, but the executive order lacks concrete enforcement mechanisms.
What does this mean?
The rough calculations from @nearcyan put the limits around:
any model trained with ~28M H100 hours, which is around $50M USD
any cluster with 10^20 FLOPs, which is around 50,000 H100s
The order also directs different agencies to develop new standards for AI safety testing and monitoring, securing critical infrastructure with AI, preventing fraud and ensuring fairness in criminal justice AI.
Bilawal shared a tldr of all the things different government agencies are supposed to do according to the order:
NIST will set standards for AI safety testing and DHS will establish an AI Safety Board to review critical infrastructure.
DOJ & civil rights offices will give guidance on avoiding algorithmic discrimination.
HHS will support privacy-preserving techniques and evaluate commercial data procurement.
DOL will develop principles to protect workers from AI harms.
NSF will fund research on privacy-preserving technologies.
State Dept & Commerce Dept will collaborate internationally on AI safety.
AI.gov, the official website of the US government is also focusing on developing and bringing AI talent to the US including streamlining visa process.
Why should I care?
This signals the U.S. government is taking AI safety seriously amid rapid generative AI advances but wants to collaborate with industry versus take a heavy-handed regulatory approach.
Still, the language around safety and fairness is vague, focused on developing "best practices" and "guidelines" instead of firm regulations. While it codifies some safety protocols, the order depends on voluntary compliance and lacks real enforcement power without further legislation.