By: Rhett Buttle
The way AI is developed and deployed now and in the future is critical. The technology has the potential to transform and improve so many aspects of life, but there is also potential for serious deliberate or unintentional harm.
To help ensure that AI is used for the benefit of everyone, President Biden recently issued an Executive Order establishing new standards for artificial intelligence (AI) safety and security, along with measures designed to protect privacy, advance equity, and promote innovation and competition. The Executive Order builds on previous efforts that include voluntary commitments from 15 leading companies to lead the safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI.
Having a healthy level of skepticism about AI is understandable but there are a number of ways it can enhance the work of small businesses and their workers. For example, customer service automation can help businesses offer more efficient customer service and AI-driven personalized marketing campaigns can reach new customers and improve relationships with current ones.
Many businesses, including Pixar, General Electric, and DoorDash, are already using AI to improve their operations with software applications like Notion, which allows business owners and employees to conduct all of their work and manage projects in one central location.
Planful gives businesses ranging from TGI Friday’s to Dollar Shave Company the ability to manage many financial aspects of their business.
The key is that AI needs to be developed and deployed so all businesses and workers can benefit from it. Here are three steps the White House Executive Order takes in the direction.
1. Competitive AI Ecosystem: Early in his Administration, President Biden issued an Executive Order to promote competition in the American economy, stating, “The heart of American capitalism is a simple idea: open and fair competition.” This Executive Order also promotes a competitive AI ecosystem by giving small developers and entrepreneurs access to technical assistance and resources. This will give small businesses greater opportunity to achieve breakthroughs in AI technology and commercialize them.
2. Addressing Algorithmic Discrimination: As more organizations rely on AI algorithms to vet everything from job applications to business proposals to federal contract applications, there is a legitimate concern that these systems could be biased, resulting in automated discrimination. The White House issued an Executive Order earlier this year directing agencies to combat algorithmic discrimination, and the one issued last week does so through training, technical assistance, and coordination between federal agencies regarding civil rights violations related to AI. The Executive Order also provides clear guidance on keeping AI algorithms from being used to make discrimination worse.
3. Cybersecurity: Whether they are data breaches or theft, cybersecurity attacks can be devastating to businesses in terms of financial losses and reputation. The Executive Order creates a cybersecurity program to develop AI tools to find and fix vulnerabilities in critical software. Along with the Biden Administration’s AI Cyber Challenges, these efforts will help create more secure software and networks.
To be clear, more needs to be done to understand AI, protect workers, business and ensure that discrimination is not present. We’ll need cooperation from public, private, civil rights, and non governmental experts to shape our economic future with AI. The White House has said that more actions will follow in developing safe and trustworthy AI and helping the country lead the way in responsible innovation. In the meantime, the steps in this Executive Order support all the private sector across America.