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White House: Developers of ‘powerful AI systems’ now have to report safety test results to government

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The White House says ‘developers of the most powerful AI systems’ will now have to report AI safety test results to the Department of Commerce in the wake of an executive order issued by President Biden aimed at ‘managing the risks’ of the technology. 

The news comes as Deputy Chief of Staff Bruce Reed is convening the White House AI Council on Monday, consisting of ‘top officials from a wide range of federal departments and agencies’ who have reported completing 90-day actions and advancing other directives tasked by the order Biden signed last October, according to the White House. 

Among those actions was that they ‘[u]sed Defense Production Act authorities to compel developers of the most powerful AI systems to report vital information, especially AI safety test results, to the Department of Commerce,’ the White House said. 

‘These companies now must share this information on the most powerful AI systems, and they must likewise report large computing clusters able to train these systems,’ the White House added. 

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The White House added the order is focused on ‘assessing AI’s risks for critical infrastructure, and hindering foreign actors’ efforts to develop AI for harmful purposes.’ 

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Ben Buchanan, the White House special adviser on AI, told The Associated Press that the U.S. government wants ‘to know AI systems are safe before they’re released to the public – the president has been very clear that companies need to meet that bar.’ 

‘We know that AI has transformative effects and potential,’ Buchanan added. ‘We’re not trying to upend the apple cart there, but we are trying to make sure the regulators are prepared to manage this technology.’ 

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