January 2024 House Briefing

House Briefing: Navigating AI's Future: Understanding the AI Executive Order's Impact on U.S. Policy

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On Tuesday, January 9, 2024 the Center for AI Policy held a briefing for House staff on Navigating AI's Future: Understanding the AI Executive Order's Impact on U.S. Policy.

The panelists Bill Drexel (Center for New American Security), Samuel Hammond (Foundation for American Innovation), Elise Phillips (Public Knowledge), and Daniel Colson (AI Policy Institute), moderated by Jason Green-Lowe (Center for AI Policy), discussed the policies in Biden's recent Executive Order on AI, what the EO is missing, and what is needed from Congress.

Video Recording

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If you couldn't make it but are interested in learning more, a recording of the event is available here:

Key Takeaways

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  • A central concern among experts is advanced AI's dual-use risks, such as an AI designed to answer innocent questions also being capable of building novel weapons and deceiving users. Dual-use risks arise from AI being made increasingly smart and general-purpose
  • To target dual-use risks, policymakers should consider using compute thresholds like the EO.
  • 69% of American voters support the EO, and 75% of voters think the government should do more to regulate AI
  • Legislative action must be taken in addition to the policies outlined in the Executive Order so that various industries can both stay competitive and stay safe amid AI technology advances.
  • The EO needs to be bolstered by legislation to ensure America is competitive and safe as AI rapidly advances.

Panelist Quotes

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“There's a general threat model that I have where AI, no matter where it's applied, massively increases the throughput demands on our institutions."

—Samuel Hammond, Senior Economist at the Foundation for American Innovation

“I think a lot of people are looking to their experience with social media and the certain significant harms from that as a lesson for what happens when the tech industry oversees dramatic social changes.”

—Daniel Colson, Executive Director at the AI Policy Institute

“We really need to give AI engineers from China and other countries, particularly adversaries, ways to stay in the United States, which they want to do. It helps us and it cripples them in an extremely important technology.”

—Bill Drexel, Associate Fellow at the Center for a New American Security

“A lot of people in the executive branch and in the legislative branch get burned out, as I’m sure you guys are aware. And so we need to provide more resources to these agencies. And we need to provide a healthy work environment which means great benefits, higher salaries, and incentives for people to come and stay.”

—Elise Phillips, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge

Transcript

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See here for a full text transcript.

Images

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The sign outside the briefing room.
The sign outside the briefing room.
Panelists speaking at Tuesday's briefing. Clockwise from top left: Elise Phillips, Samuel Hammond, Bill Drexel, Daniel Colson.
Panelists speaking at Tuesday's briefing. Clockwise from top left: Elise Phillips, Samuel Hammond, Bill Drexel, Daniel Colson.
A full view of the panel, which took place in the Cannon House Office Building.
A full view of the panel, which took place in the Cannon House Office Building.

If you want to stay up to date on important developments in AI, the Center for AI Policy's weekly newsletter is an excellent source of analysis. You can read a sample issue here.