Thursday, July 18

Harris to Announce Steps to Curb Risks of A.I.

Vice President Kamala Harris plans to announce on Wednesday a slew of additional measures to curb the risks of artificial intelligence as she prepares to take part in a global summit in Britain where world and tech leaders will discuss the future of the technology.

On her visit, which will kick off Wednesday with a policy address at the U.S. Embassy in London, Ms. Harris plans to outline guardrails that the American government will seek to put in place to manage the risks of A.I. as it asserts itself as a global leader in the arena.

Taken together, the steps Ms. Harris plans to announce seek to both flesh out a sweeping executive order President Biden signed this week and make its ideals part of broader global standards for a technology that holds great promise and peril.

They include a new draft policy from the Office of Management and Budget that would guide how federal agencies use artificial intelligence, which would be overseen by new chief A.I. officers. She is also set to announce that 30 other nations have joined a “political declaration” created by the United States that seeks to establish a “set of norms for responsible development, deployment and use of military A.I. capabilities,” as well as $200 million in philanthropic funding to help support the administration’s goals.

“The urgency of this moment must compel us to create a collective vision of what this future must be,” Ms. Harris plans to say on Wednesday, according to prepared remarks released by her office.

The executive order Mr. Biden signed on Monday marked the United States’ most concrete regulatory effort in the A.I. arena to date. Among other things, it requires that companies report to the federal government about the risks that their systems could help countries or terrorists make weapons of mass destruction. It also seeks to lessen the dangers of “deep fakes” — A.I.-generated audio and video that can be difficult to distinguish from authentic footage — that could swing elections or swindle consumers.

“President Biden and I believe that all leaders, from government, civil society and the private sector have a moral, ethical and societal duty to make sure A.I. is adopted and advanced in a way that protects the public from potential harm and ensures that everyone is able to enjoy its benefits,” Ms. Harris plans to say in her remarks.

On Thursday, Ms. Harris will represent the United States in a summit organized by Britain’s prime minister, Rishi Sunak, that is slated to draw tech figures like Elon Musk and representatives from countries that are advancing in A.I., like China.

The United States has trailed places like the European Union, China and Israel in regulating the technology, with Congress yet to pass major legislation on the subject and many of the provisions in Mr. Biden’s executive order largely unenforceable. But the administration has garnered agreements from top companies, which have pledged to manage risks in the race to capitalize on the technology, and has established a “Blueprint for an A.I. Bill of Rights” that focuses on consumer protection.

Among the other announcements on Wednesday will be a “virtual hackathon,” in which the White House will invite teams of technology experts to build models that can intercept unwanted robocalls from fraudsters who use A.I.-generated voices to target vulnerable populations like the elderly.

Ms. Harris’s messaging will put a distinct emphasis on the consumer protection aspect of A.I., including how it could exacerbate existing inequalities. Research has shown that A.I. programs can inadvertently produce biased results that discriminate by race, gender or age.

Ms. Harris plans to focus on a “full spectrum” of risks that have already emerged, such as bias, discrimination and the proliferation of misinformation, and argue that A.I. safety should “be based on the public interest.”

Ms. Harris’s trip to Britain adds to her role as a diplomatic force for the administration, having now visited 20 countries and more than 100 foreign leaders since her election. It also adds to her growing portfolio, which includes some of the toughest issues facing the United States, like the migration crisis on the southern border.

While in London, Ms. Harris also plans to discuss the wars in Israel and Ukraine with Mr. Sunak. She and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will also have a private dinner with Mr. Sunak and his wife.

Cecilia Kang contributed reporting.