President Trump executive order outlines use of artificial intelligence by federal agencies

On December 3, Donald Trump signed an executive order that aims to promote the use of artificial intelligence (AI) by federal agencies while protecting public trust and upholding the law. The order directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to post a roadmap for future policy guidance about AI consistent with the principles of the order.

Guidance documents clarify and affect how agencies administer regulations and programs. However, they are not legally binding in the same way as rules issued through one of the rulemaking processes of the Administrative Procedure Act.

The order directs federal agencies adopting AI to adhere to the following framework:

1. Agencies should design, acquire, and use AI in ways that respect national values and that remain consistent with the U.S. Constitution and other laws and regulations (including those involving privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties)

2. Agencies should only use AI in situations where the benefits significantly outweigh the risks and the risks can be measured and managed

3. Agencies should use AI for the cases regarding which the AI was trained and make sure the AI is accurate, reliable, and effective

4. Agencies should make sure AI is safe, secure, and resilient in the face of attacks. Agencies should make sure AI operations and outcomes are understandable by experts, users, and others as needed

5. Agencies should make sure that human responsibilities regarding AI are clear and that all operations are well-documented and traceable to the extent practicable

6. Agencies should make sure their AI applications are tested regularly to ensure compliance with these principles and consistent performance 

7. Agencies should be transparent about disclosing relevant information about the use of AI

8. Agencies should be accountable for implementing and enforcing safeguards regarding the use of AI and document compliance with those safeguards

The order also directs each federal agency to identify and share non-classified uses of AI by the agency and determine what changes they must make to comply with the order. Finally, the order directs the General Services Administration to attract industry and academic experts to help agencies develop AI systems.

To learn more about executive orders or guidance, see here:

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You can read the text of the executive order here.

Federal Register weekly update: Highest weekly document total since June

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.

From October 5 to October 9, the Federal Register grew by 1,836 pages for a year-to-date total of 64,374 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the Federal Register reached 55,016 pages and 51,814 pages, respectively. As of October 9, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 9,358 pages and the 2018 total by 12,560 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 612 documents:

• 465 notices
• 16 presidential documents
• 40 proposed rules
• 91 final rules

Two final rules related to railroad track safety standards and textile fiber products identification as well as two proposed rules concerning the practices of market agencies in the business of receiving lambs and the registration of medical services agencies that handle controlled substances were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that they could have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued 27 significant proposed rules, 58 significant final rules, and one significant notice as of October 9.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two old significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.

Click here to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2019, 2018, and 2017: Changes_to_the_Federal_Register

Additional reading:
Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2018: Historical_additions_to_the_Federal_Register,_1936-2018