On October 30, President Biden signed a comprehensive executive order (EO) aimed at promoting the “safe, secure, and trustworthy development and use of artificial intelligence (AI).” This order marks a significant effort to ensure accountability in how AI technologies are created and utilized across all industries. It addresses a broad spectrum of AI systems, from generative AI to more traditional machine-based systems developed over the past several years.

Far-Reaching Impact Across All Sectors

The EO is set to influence organizations across various industries, regardless of their level of AI implementation. Its broad definition of AI systems includes any machine-based technology capable of making predictions, recommendations, or decisions based on human-defined goals, extending beyond just generative AI or neural networks.

Assessing Organizational Impact

Organizations will need to conduct thorough evaluations of their AI use and their dependence on AI services from third-party vendors to understand how the EO affects them. This assessment is crucial for ensuring compliance and understanding implementation requirements.

NIST’s Pivotal Role

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be instrumental in developing guidelines and best practices for the safe, secure, and trustworthy development of AI systems. Companies should align their AI risk management frameworks with the NIST AI Risk Management Framework to prepare for future guidelines from regulatory bodies.

Key Principles and Priorities of the EO

The EO is guided by eight core principles and priorities:

  1. Safety and Security: AI systems must undergo thorough, reliable, and standardized evaluations to identify, understand, and mitigate risks.
  2. Responsible Innovation: Encourage competition, collaboration, and investment in education, training, and research while addressing intellectual property rights and preventing monopolistic practices.
  3. Support for American Workers: Commit to education and job training to understand AI’s impact on the labor force and workers’ rights.
  4. Advancement of Equity and Civil Rights: Ensure AI policies promote equity and protect civil rights.
  5. Protection of Consumer Interests: Safeguard the interests of Americans who use AI products and services.
  6. Privacy and Civil Liberties: Ensure lawful and secure data collection, usage, and retention practices that uphold privacy.
  7. Federal AI Risk Management: Manage risks associated with the federal government’s use of AI and enhance internal regulatory capacities.
  8. Global Leadership: Collaborate with international partners to create frameworks that manage AI risks and promote global progress.


The EO’s broad definition of AI, its extensive impact across sectors, and NIST’s central role highlight its significance. By aligning with the NIST AI Risk Management Framework, organizations can prepare for the forthcoming regulatory landscape and ensure the responsible development and use of AI.  Check out the executive order fact sheet here.

Author Jason McArdle

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