Every US federal agency should hire a chief artificial intelligence officer

From now on, all US federal agencies will be required to have a senior executive overseeing all artificial intelligence systems they use, as the government wants to ensure that the use of AI in public service remains safe.

US Vice President Kamala Harris announced the new guidelines from the US Office of Management and Budget at a briefing with journalists. Government agencies should establish AI governance councils that will coordinate the use of artificial intelligence within their agencies.

They will also be required to submit an annual report listing all AI systems they use, any risks associated with them, and how they plan to mitigate those risks.

“We have directed all federal agencies to designate a chief AI officer who has the experience, knowledge, and authority to oversee all AI technologies used within the agency. To ensure that AI is used responsibly, we must have senior leaders specifically tasked with overseeing the implementation and use of AI,” Harris said.

The head of AI does not necessarily have to be a political appointee, although this depends on the structure of the federal agency. The governing boards should be in place by summer.

Some agencies began hiring chief AI officers even before the current announcement. In February, the Department of Justice announced Jonathan Meyer as its first CIO. He will lead a team of cybersecurity experts who will work on how to use AI in law enforcement.

Federal agencies will also have to verify that every AI they implement meets safeguards that “reduce the risks of algorithmic discrimination and provide transparency to the public about how the government uses AI.”.