Industry Experts Join Homeland Security’s New AI Safety Board – ExtremeTech

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The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Friday that it will head a new board to steward the responsible deployment of artificial intelligence. The Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security Board, a collection of 22 industry experts and stakeholders, will advise the public and private sectors on AI use cases that impact critical infrastructure, economic security, civil rights, and other collective interests. 

Among the board’s members are OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Nvidia president and CEO Jensen Huang, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, and Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky. These figures—each of whom has an unprecedented impact on the implementation of AI in the US and worldwide—are joined by executives from the defense and aerospace communities. Leaders from civil rights nonprofits, such as the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, are also part of the board.

The DHS says a fairly interdisciplinary group of experts will be essential to protecting the 16 sectors it aims to safeguard. After convening for the first time in early May, the board will meet quarterly. The group will start by dishing out overarching recommendations on the safe adoption of AI, then create a communication channel through which DHS can consult with board members and the larger critical infrastructure community. Board recommendations are expected to complement the “artificial intelligence roadmap” the DHS introduced in March. 

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas sitting in front of the DHS flag.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.
Credit: DHS

President Biden ordered the establishment of the AI Safety and Security Board in response to increased unease around the long-term effects of AI. Bolstering the order was the 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment, which the DHS published in September. Revised every four years, the assessment summarizes threats to public safety, the country’s borders, critical infrastructure, and economic security. While AI made a single appearance in the 2020 report, it was a much bigger player in this year’s assessment. Misinformation, AI-assisted cyberattacks, and AI-generated biochemical compounds are all imminent concerns to the DHS as AI tools become more accessible and adept. 

“Artificial Intelligence is a transformative technology that can advance our national interests in unprecedented ways,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “At the same time, it presents real risks—risks that we can mitigate by adopting best practices and taking other studied, concrete actions.”

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