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DHS forms new board to advise on AI deployments in critical infrastructure

Advisory group includes execs from tech giants, as well as Worldcoin’s Sam Altman
DHS forms new board to advise on AI deployments in critical infrastructure
 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has formed an AI Safety and Security Board, bringing together leaders from government, academia and industry to provide counsel on the safe and secure deployment of AI in critical infrastructure. A release says the 22-person board will advise DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, develop recommendations for key stakeholders, and draft plans to address AI-related disruptions to critical services that threaten national security, public health or safety.

The formation of the board is mandated in U.S. President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on the responsible use of AI, and follows the federal government’s release of an AI Roadmap for DHS and the DHS Homeland Threat Assessment of 2024.

Among the more prominent inaugural members of the board is Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI who is also behind the Worldcoin iris biometrics project. Microsoft, Adobe, Alphabet, IBM, AWS and NVIDIA all have representatives accounted for (respectively, CEOs Satya Nadella, Shantanu Narayen, Sundar Pichai, Arvind Krishna, Adam Selipsky and Jensen Huang). Maryland’s Governor Wes Moore is on the board, as is Arati Prabhakar, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The group includes leaders from the Center for Democracy and Technology, Stanford Human-centered Artificial Intelligence Institute, and the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution, as well as executives from the petroleum and airline industries.

Artificial Intelligence is a transformative technology that can advance our national interests in unprecedented ways,” says Secretary Mayorkas. “At the same time, it presents real risks – risks that we can mitigate by adopting best practices and taking other studied, concrete actions. I am grateful that such accomplished leaders are dedicating their time and expertise to the Board to help ensure our nation’s critical infrastructure – the vital services upon which Americans rely every day – effectively guards against the risks and realizes the enormous potential of this transformative technology.”

The board will have its first meeting in early May, with subsequent meetings planned quarterly. Its first orders of business will be to provide actionable recommendations on how to ensure the safe adoption of AI in critical infrastructure encompassing sixteen sectors of American industry, and to create a forum for sharing information.

The Wall Street Journal quotes Mayorkas’ response to a question about the number of tech executives on the board: “They understand the mission of this board. This is not a mission that is about business development.”

The U.S. is facing an increased threat of cyberattacks from hostile foreign actors, as it skates on edge toward a highly charged election. NextGov reports that last week, a water treatment facility in the American Southwest was compromised in a cyber attack linked it to Russian state-backed hackers. The incident follows a rash of similar attacks at water and wastewater facilities throughout the country, which have been blamed on hackers working for China and Iran.

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