US federal agencies must have a chief AI officer under new order

28 Mar 2024

Image: © kropic/

The White House has issued three ‘binding requirements’ to promote the safe use of AI by the federal government.

The US White House has announced new measures to promote the safe and secure use of artificial intelligence (AI) by the country’s government.

In an announcement, US vice-president Kamala Harris said all US federal agencies will be required to have a designated “chief AI officer” who will oversee all AI technologies being used by the agency they are assigned to.

Harris said the appointment of chief AI officers relates to “internal oversight” and aims to make sure AI is used responsibly. She added that “we must have senior leaders across our government who are specifically tasked with overseeing AI adoption and use”.

“I believe that all leaders from government, civil society and the private sector have a moral, ethical and societal duty to make sure that artificial intelligence is adopted and advanced in a way that protects the public from potential harm while ensuring everyone is able to enjoy its full benefit,” Harris said.

Harris also announced two other “binding requirements” to promote the safe use of AI by the US federal government. One of these requirements is the creation of new standards to “protect rights and safety”.

“When government agencies use AI tools, we will now require them to verify that those tools do not endanger the rights and safety of the American people,” she said.

The second requirement regards transparency – US agencies will have to publish annually a list of the AI systems they use, along with an assessment of the risks those systems might pose and how those risks are being managed.

Harris said the new requirements are a follow up to a presentation she made at the UK’s AI Safety Summit last year, where she laid out “our nation’s vision for the future of AI”. At that summit, the governments of 28 countries and the EU signed the Bletchley Declaration – committing to global cooperation on AI.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic