Peters Statement on President Biden’s Executive Actions on Artificial Intelligence

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after President Joe Biden issued an executive order to establish new standards for use of artificial intelligence (AI):

“We need to ensure there are guardrails in place for artificial intelligence to be used safely, ethically, and in a way that protects privacy rights and American jobs. The executive actions the Administration announced today will build on legislation I passed into law to set standards for how the federal government uses artificial intelligence and will help expand those standards to the private sector. It’s critical that we work to help ensure the United States continues to lead the world in artificial intelligence development and its safe and responsible use.”

The Executive Order announced today comes after the AI in Government Act, which Peters cosponsored, became law in 2020. That legislation required the Administration to provide resources and guidance to federal agencies on the responsible acquisition and use of AI, advancing AI innovation, and managing AI risks in the federal government. The Executive Order reiterates and expands on the requirements of the AI in Government Act, and tasks the Office of Management and Budget to provide specific guidelines and oversee government use of AI.

In addition, the Executive Order requires federal agencies to make AI training opportunities available. This requirement builds on Peters’ legislation that was signed into law in 2022 to create a training program to help federal employees responsible for purchasing and managing AI capabilities better understand the capabilities and risks of these technologies. Peters has also introduced bipartisan legislation to create an AI training program for federal supervisors and management officials. 

The Executive Order also reiterates the requirements set out in Peters’ Advancing American AI Act­—which was signed into law last yearfor federal agencies to protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties, among other considerations, when purchasing AI systems, and for agencies to ensure transparency through publication of inventories of the AI systems they are using. The Administration is also requiring federal agencies to appoint a Chief AI Officer and creating an inter-agency AI Council, both requirements that Peters championed through his AI LEAD Act, which passed out of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee earlier this year. The Executive Order also highlights the importance of transparency when agencies use automated systems. Peters’ bipartisan Transparent Automated Governance Act would require federal agencies to notify individuals when they are interacting with or subject to decisions made using automated systems, and directs agencies to establish a redress process with human review of AI-generated decisions.