December 3, 2023

Trump pledges to upend Biden executive order on AI if elected in 2024

In late October, President Joe Biden issued a sweeping executive order covering a host of issues related to the use of artificial intelligence (AI), and during a rally on Saturday, former President Donald Trump vowed to rescind every bit of it, should he retake the White House next November, as the Washington Examiner reports.

Trump's promise came during a political rally held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa during which the former president discussed reports alleging administration efforts to censor Americans' speech by using AI technology.

Biden issues order

The executive order unveiled by Biden in October was touted as one that helps capitalize on emerging AI tools while also researching and addressing the risks they pose, as The Hill noted at the time.

According to the outlet, the order encompasses standards related to safety including requirements that companies producing models that pose a risk to national security, public health, or economic security inform the government when conducting training on that model and also that they share outcomes of safety testing.

The order is also meant to facilitate the production of best practices to help reduce harms and boost benefits of AI to workers, including by addressing possible job displacement, data collection, and the like.

Biden's order, according to The Hill, also "focuses on advancing equity and civil rights by providing guidance to landlords, federal benefits programs and federal contractors to keep AI algorithms from exacerbating discrimination,” among other target areas.

As the Examiner noted, certain critics of the order have suggested that it is largely symbolic in nature and that absent congressional action, it lacks teeth, while others believe it is a prime example of government overreach.

Trump's take

The former president pulled no punches in his Saturday takedown of the current administration's order, saying, “Just this week, Biden's Homeland Security Secretary even admitted that they are weaponizing artificial intelligence to target American citizens for political speech,” as the Post Millennial reported.

“He admitted it. Well, at least he was honest,” Trump quipped.

Trump was likely referring to Mayorkas' recent statement indicating that DHS is currently using AI tools to assist with some of its investigations as well as his emphasis on progressing toward public-private partnerships in applying the technology in ways some believe may be violative of the First Amendment.

The 2024 primary front runner then got to the meat of the matter, saying, “When I'm re-elected, I will cancel Biden's artificial intelligence executive order and ban the use of AI to censor the speech of American citizens on day one.”

Whether Trump will ultimately have an opportunity to make good on that pledge, only time – and the American electorate – will tell.

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