The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is the sole body of advisors from outside the federal government charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the President and the White House. Established by Executive Order, it is an independent Federal Advisory Committee comprised of distinguished individuals from industry, academia, and non-profit organizations with a range of perspectives and expertise. PCAST develops evidence-based recommendations for the President on matters involving science, technology, and innovation policy, as well as on matters involving scientific and technological information that is needed to inform policy affecting the economy, worker empowerment, education, energy, the environment, public health, national and homeland security, racial equity, and other topics.
The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) has launched a working group on generative artificial intelligence (AI) to help assess key opportunities and risks and provide input on how best to ensure that these technologies are developed and deployed as equitably, responsibly, and safely as possible.
And today we’re going to discuss the opportunities and the risks of artificial intelligence. AI can help deal with some very difficult challenges like disease and climate change, but we also have to address the potential risks to our society, to our economy, to our national security.
Last October, we proposed a bill of rights — a bill of rights to ensure the important protections are built into the AI systems from the start, not have to go back to do it. And I look forward to today’s discussion about ensuring responsible innovation and appropriate guardrails to protect America’s rights and safety, and protecting their privacy, and to address the bias and disinformation that is possible as well.
And so, tech companies have a responsibility, in my view, to make sure their products are safe before making them public.
Social media has already shown us the harm that powerful technologies can do without the right safeguards in place. Absent safeguards, we see the impact on the mental health and self-images and feelings and hopelessness, especially among young people.
And as I said in the State of the Union Address to Congress, Congress needs to pass bi- — (coughs) — excuse me, my — for my cold — bipartisan privacy legislation that, one, impose strict limits on personal data that tech companies collect on all of us; two, ban advertising directed — targeted advertising to children; and three, require companies to put health and safety first in the products that they build.
So with that, I’m going to, as my mother would say, “hush up,” and let’s get this meeting started.
Thank you all very much.
Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Generative AI” in the subject line. We especially welcome public comments addressing the following questions (please indicate in your submission which questions you are addressing):
Executive Order Amending Previous Executive Order on PCAST
On September 13, 2021, Executive Order 14007 was amended such that PCAST can include up to 32 members.
Executive Order on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology
On January 27, 2021, the Executive Order establishing his PCAST was issued by President Joe Biden.
President Biden’s Letter to OSTP Director, Dr. Eric Lander
On January 15, 2021, then-President-Elect Biden sent this letter laying out his science priorities to Dr. Eric S. Lander, his appointee as the President’s Science Advisor and nominee as Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
CAIDP Statement to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), May 14, 2023 (excerpts)
We are responding to the White House notice posted yesterday “PCAST Working Group on Generative AI Invites Public Input.” We are providing a preliminary response for your public session next week, and we have established a webpage to track the work of the Working Group. We will later provide a more detailed response to the specific questions raised in the White House notice.
In advance of the public session next week, we ask you to:
Promoting Public Participation
A call for public comment should not be treated lightly.
"The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) governs the operation of federal advisory committees and emphasizes public involvement through open meetings and reporting. Meetings must be announced in the Federal Register. Reports, transcripts, working papers, and other materials made available to or prepared for or by the committees must be made available to the public."
From the Act: