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CTO: Administration’s AI Guidance to Encourage Agency ‘Fairness, Robustness, Trustworthiness’

Federal Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said forthcoming administration guidance on artificial intelligence is “something that is going to sort of set the sort of high-level principles” on how “agencies should be thinking about this, about fairness, robustness, trustworthiness” in technological advancement.

Kratsios told Fox Business last week that the White House and OIRA memo to agencies on how they should consider regulating AI is “going to be coming out of the White House in very short order” and will cover “important things that should be considered, whether FDA is approving a medical diagnostic or whether FAA is looking at drone operations.”

“I think we’re seeing sort of two different ethical approaches to the use of artificial intelligence,” he said. “On one hand, we have the U.S. and other sort of western liberal democracies who actually came together this past May and signed on to what are known as the OECD AI principles, which these are the 28 members of the [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] came together and signed these, and these are sort of underpinned by American values. This idea of privacy, of civil liberties, of fairness underlies these principles.”

“This is very different than some of our adversaries in China and the way they approach artificial intelligence, whether they use it to surveil their people or things like that,” he continued. “And that’s something that’s very fundamentally different in the U.S., and these are the types of principles you see that are going to seep into the way that we approach our regulatory posture.”

Asked about San Francisco’s landmark May ban on facial recognition technology, Kratsios said there are “certain obvious, important use cases of facial recognition which are important for national security, whether it’s at the border or through TSA checks, but internally in the United States, those rules should be different and I think our agencies are looking at that.”

Policymakers, he said, are focused less on artificial intelligence augmenting or replacing functions in Americans’ everyday lives and more on “the way that machine learning and artificial intelligence that exists today is being implemented by industry and even by government.”

“And we need to make sure that we have sort of the right regulatory posture in place to encourage that so we can maintain and absorb the benefits of those technologies, but while also safeguarding and protecting Americans,” Kratsios added. “…We feel that artificial intelligence is going to be something that’s going to help all industries.”

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, anti-Semitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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