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    October 31, 2023

    Understanding the White House's Executive Order on Fair AI Use and its Implications for HR Leaders

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize businesses' operations and processes. However, it's also a double-edged sword that comes with ethical, legal, and societal considerations. As AI adoption continues to gain traction in the HR industry, overlooking its diversity, equity, and inclusivity aspects could lead to major risks and reputational damage. That's why the White House issued an Executive Order on AI in October 2023, emphasizing the safe, secure, trustworthy, and fair deployment of AI. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into this policy and explore what it means for HR leaders and what they should do about it.

    The White House's Executive Order on AI is the Biden administration's first-ever federal policy aimed at regulating AI development and use. It's a comprehensive document that outlines the government's AI principles, tasks Federal agencies on specific AI-related actions and calls on industry stakeholders to adopt best practices that align with those principles to stay on top of labor market impacts.

    What's Covered in Biden's Executive Order on AI?

    So, what AI principles are covered in the Executive Order, and how do they relate to HR leaders' obligations and opportunities? The Executive Order outlines the following high-level principles:

    • Foster public trust in AI by promoting transparency, safety, privacy, and security;
    • Foster fairness, non-discrimination, equity, and justice in the development and use of AI;
    • Foster collaboration and use of best practices among government, industry, academia, civil society, and international partners;
    • Protect American technological leadership and national security by promoting AI innovation and countering AI-enabled threats.

    These principles are intertwined and interdependent, requiring an ethical and human-centered approach to AI design, deployment, and oversight. For HR leaders, this means that they need to align their AI decision-making, policies, and practices with these principles to avoid unintended consequences, protect employees' rights and dignity, and ensure that AI doesn't perpetuate or amplify bias or discrimination.

    The Executive Order also directs Federal agencies to take specific actions, such as:

    • Developing governance frameworks for AI use that align with the aforementioned principles;
    • Prioritizing AI research and development that addresses key opportunities and challenges, such as climate change, healthcare, and education;
    • Enhancing the cybersecurity and privacy protections of AI systems and data;
    • Assessing AI's impact on the workforce, including potential job displacement, skills gaps, and reskilling needs;
    • Conducting and sharing ethical and risk assessments of AI systems and applications in various domains;
    • Engaging with stakeholders through public consultations and forums to promote transparency, accountability, and public awareness.

    What Does Biden's Executive Order on AI Mean for HR Leaders?

    HR leaders can leverage these actions and guidelines to enhance the ethical and responsible use of AI in their organizations. For example, HR departments can collaborate with their IT, legal, and data science counterparts to develop AI governance frameworks that articulate their values, principles, and risk tolerance. They can also partner with external experts and advocacy groups to conduct ethical audits of their AI systems and applications, assess their workforce's AI readiness and skills gaps, and create reskilling programs that prepare employees for AI-enabled roles.

    The White House's Executive Order on AI provides a much-needed policy framework for promoting the safe, secure, trustworthy, and fair deployment of AI technologies within the public and private sectors. HR leaders have a critical role to play in ensuring that the AI they use in their workplaces aligns with the ethical and human-centered principles outlined in the Order. By actively participating in the development and adoption of AI governance frameworks, risk assessments, and best practices, HR leaders can foster public trust, fairness, and collaboration in their AI endeavors and promote a more inclusive and equitable future of work.

    Want help navigating the world of AI governance in HR? Lever Talent works with AI Governance software partners. If you're in need of consultation or technology to help you navigate this new world, please get in touch with us to learn more.

    Drew Fortin

    Drew is a people-first, values-driven leader with nearly 20 years of growth strategy and team-building experience across retail, marketing technology, local media, and HR tech. He spent 7 years at The Predictive Index, where he was Chief Growth Officer responsible for the company's strategy to build the world's first...

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