Laughing at Cybersecurity: How the Government’s ‘Safety First’ Approach to AI is More Comedy than Caution

Behold, the birth of ‘Responsible AI’! The White House orders a ‘safety first’ approach to AI, prompting a flurry of knee pads and elbow guards. But is this the right game plan? Especially when AI Safety Standards Development rests on the shoulders of NIST and developers are cajoled into sharing test results? Let’s find out.

Hot Take:

It’s a bird… It’s a plane… No, it’s “Responsible AI” swooping in to save the day! The White House has put its foot down and demanded a ‘safety first’ attitude towards artificial intelligence (AI). But like an overeager parent forcing their kid to wear a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards just to ride a scooter, we have to ask: Is this the right way to play? After all, it’s all fun and games till the government wants your test results…

Key Points:

  • The Biden administration has issued an executive order, prompting federal agencies to inspect how AI could affect vulnerability discovery and increase the risk of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure systems.
  • Despite the hype around generative AI, uncertainties about its practical applications and impacts remain.
  • The executive order doesn’t answer these questions but sets the ground for developing and deploying “responsible AI.”
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is tasked with creating standards, tools, and testing guidelines for AI systems.
  • The order also demands AI system developers share their safety test results with the U.S. government.

Need to know more?

AI: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly...and The Unclear

With the rapid advance of AI capabilities, it's like we're in a sci-fi movie where we're not quite sure if the shiny new tech is going to save the world or blow it up. This uncertainty has led to many companies investing in generative AI, but questions about its practical use, profitability, industry reshaping potential, and long-term impacts remain as elusive as Bigfoot.

Enter: Responsible AI...maybe

In the absence of clear answers, the White House is trying to bring some order to the AI chaos by pushing for what they call "responsible AI". It's like giving someone a rulebook for a game they've never played. So, what does this mean? Federal agencies are to scrutinize how AI could potentially impact vulnerability discovery and make critical infrastructure systems more susceptible to cyberattacks.

Passing the Buck to NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been given the Herculean task of creating standards, tools, and red-team testing guidelines for AI systems before they're released to the public. Because nothing says "responsible AI" like a comprehensive checklist.

Big Brother Wants to See Your Test Results

And in a move that has echoes of a very stern teacher, the order mandates that certain AI system developers share their safety test results with Uncle Sam. Because nothing promotes innovation like the fear of disappointing a federal agency.
Tags: AI in Government, AI Safety standards, Artificial Intelligence, Biden administration, Executive Order, Generative AI, National Institute of Standards and Technology