Everything Is Not Terminator: What Does the Executive Order Calling for Artificial Intelligence Standards Mean for AI Regulation?

Headshot - John Weaver
John F. Weaver
Director, Corporate Department and Chair, Real Estate Practice Group and Chair, Artificial Intelligence Practice
Published: Journal of Robotics, Artificial Intelligence & Law
August 7, 2019

President Trump has issued an executive order on “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence” (the “Order”).  Noting that artificial intelligence (“AI”) “promises to drive the growth of the United States economy, enhance our economic and national security, and improve our quality of life,” the Order seeks to help coordinate federal resources to support the development of AI in the United States. In doing so, the Order charges other groups—principally the National Science and Technology Council’s Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence (the “Select Committee”), the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), and the National Security Advisor—with pursuing the Order’s principles, objectives, and directives.

The Order also directly impacts the regulation of AI, as OMB and NIST are ordered to establish standards to enable the regulation of AI. Below, I briefly explain the major directives of the Order before discussing how those agencies will prepare regulations with public input. In the final section, I consider what the Order and the activities by NIST and OMB will mean for the regulation of AI.

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