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White House Pushes Fed Agencies to Hire AI Chiefs White House Pushes Fed Agencies to Hire AI Chiefs
The White House Office of Management and Budget, or OMB has introduced guidelines mandating all U.S. federal agencies to appoint a... White House Pushes Fed Agencies to Hire AI Chiefs

The White House Office of Management and Budget, or OMB has introduced guidelines mandating all U.S. federal agencies to appoint a Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer. The agency also stated that agencies need to disclose their AI deployments.

It’s clear that the OMB hopes to take a proactive approach toward AI integration by emphasizing the need for federal agencies to adopt concrete safeguards by December 1, 2024. So what exactly is the overall aim of these guidelines?

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Well it seems that these precautions aim to evaluate AI’s impact, prevent algorithmic biases, and ensure the public is informed about the government’s AI applications. Agencies unable to implement such measures must halt AI usage unless it critically hampers essential operations.

Also, these same agencies are encouraged to engage with unions to evaluate AI’s effect on employment. A move that seems to show concern about AI’s potential impact on the labor force now and in the future.

Within a 60-day timeframe, agencies are expected to appoint a CAIO, who will spearhead AI strategy, innovation, and risk management. This role entails creating an annual inventory of AI use cases, fostering AI skills among personnel, eliminating barriers to AI’s responsible deployment, and managing associated risks.

Interestingly enough, the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and State have already established AI governance bodies, with other agencies slated to follow suit by May 27, 2024.

But that’s not all. The guidelines from the White House also address public concerns, offering opt-out options for AI-driven services, like facial recognition at airports, without compromising service quality.

In healthcare, human oversight is mandated for AI-assisted diagnostic processes to prevent disparities in care access. To add to this, federal entities are also required to annually publish AI use case inventories, ensuring transparency in operations impacting public rights or safety.

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Reading these guidelines, it’s clear that the OMB emphasizes AI’s vast potential to address critical societal challenges. Examples include FEMA’s use of AI in assessing hurricane damage and NOAA’s AI-enhanced weather forecasting.

It seems that to government is hoping agencies take this as an encouragement to experiment with generative AI, provided adequate safeguards are in place, illustrating a commitment to leveraging AI for public benefit while ensuring ethical standards.

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