The Defense Production Act mandates that AI companies like OpenAI, Google, and others will soon be required to notify the government of their plans to develop foundation models.
According to Wired, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo provided fresh information regarding this upcoming mandate at a Stanford University Hoover Institute event last Friday.
“We’re using the Defense Production Act… to do a survey requiring companies to share with us every time they train a new large language model, and share with us the results—the safety data—so we can review it,” said Raimondo. Last October, President Biden announced a comprehensive AI executive order, which includes the new rules.
Companies are obligated to inform the federal government and disclose the outcomes of their safety testing if they are building any foundation model “that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety,” as part of the order’s overall set of requirements.
The GPT-4 model from OpenAI and the Gemini model from Google are examples of foundation models that generative AI chatbots rely on. The processing capacity of GPT-4, though, is probably not high enough to necessitate regulatory control.
Due of their enormous possible threat to national security, future foundation models with unparalleled computational capacity are the primary cause for concern. That’s why the Defense Production Act is relevant to this mission; President Biden last used it in 2021 to boost manufacturing of supplies and equipment for pandemic preparedness.
During the event, Raimondo also discussed another part of the executive order that would mandate transparency over overseas usage of cloud computing services by US companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
“We’re beginning the process of requiring US cloud companies to tell us every time a non-US entity uses their cloud to train a large language model,” said Raimondo, per Bloomberg.
No specific date was provided by the secretary of commerce for the implementation of these mandates. In any case, with the deadline being today, January 28, we should expect an announcement very soon.
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