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Biden’s AI Executive Order Embraces Radical Ideology Over Innovation

Even before Biden announced his AI executive order, the administration was threatening the efficacy and neutrality of AI technologies.

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The Biden administration has committed to radical ideology over innovation, choosing to weaponize a previously neutral executive agency in its battle to overregulate nascent AI technology before it even reaches the marketplace. This is the largest leap so far in empowering a coalition opposed to the right ordinary Americans have to their speech and their work.

Directed by the Biden AI executive order signed last October, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently expanded its “AI Safety Institute,” notably naming Paul Christiano as head of AI safety. Christiano, a leader of “Effective Altruism” — the movement popularized by Sam Bankman-Fried — believes in a “50/50” chance AI causes the extinction of all of humanity. This marks the latest in the broader infiltration of hardcore Effective Altruism ideologues into executive agencies and the offices of elected officials, threatening to impose restrictions on the majority of Americans that range from harsh to dystopian.

The NIST appointment follows reporting on direct pay for play, in which Effective Altruism mega-donor Dustin Moskowitz, co-founder of Facebook, met with Joe Biden after spending over $50 million on electing him. Dustin and his wife, Cari Tuna, are the primary funders of Open Philanthropy, an Effective Altruism-linked nonprofit spending hundreds of millions of dollars funding a movement that advocates for unprecedented government control over the AI industry.

For example, the Open Philanthropy-linked “Center for AI Policy” published draft legislation including the creation of a new “Frontier Artificial Intelligence Systems Administration” with the unitary ability to declare a “state of emergency” and, among other broad powers:

(4) seize, sequester, or encrypt model weights used or designed or intended for use in frontier AI systems;

(5) issue a restraining order that prevents specified persons from using, accessing, or physically approaching specified frontier AI systems or hardware;

(6) issue a general moratorium on the use or development of frontier AI

These authoritarian powers are the natural conclusion of an ideology that believes centralized control over AI is mandatory to prevent the extinction of humanity. While this draft legislation is unlikely to pass, Open Philanthropy-funded organizations are working to impose it by fiat by creating a pipeline into the Biden administration for Effective Altruists such as Christiano.

An immediate facet of the Biden EO is the crippling of the necessary improvements governments must make to keep pace with the private sector’s improvement with AI. Per Matthew Mittelsteadt, research fellow at the Mercatus Center:

At a high level, these new restrictions represent a potential catastrophe for public sector AI diffusion. By going all in on AI safety rules the administration is failing to consider budgetary and administrative realities and, as a result, is risking slamming the breaks on federal AI all together.

Effective Altruists play a crucial role in bringing together a coalition of leftist issues groups within the Biden administration, each attempting to seize power over AI for their own interests. The practical effect of this campaign is to enable the unprecedented political censorship of AI, as demonstrated by Google Gemini. As I write in response to the Biden EO-directed National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s “AI Accountability” report:

Legitimate concerns about speech such as threats, impersonation, fraud, or classified information are historically directed towards interpersonal communications. … The internal/external distinction is crucial because of attempts to censor AI in the name of “safety”. Rather than keeping to this narrow tradition of government intervention, the NTIA report on AI Accountability, directed by the Biden EO, takes aim “across the AI lifecycle and value chain.”

In early 2024, Google published a paper documenting the intentional fine-tuning used to create Gemini’s far-left, anti-white ideology. In it, Google authors reference the Biden executive order as “outlining” the standards used to construct the “Responsible AI” team that did this. Even without official legislation, the informal pressure exerted by a captured executive branch threatens the efficacy and neutrality of AI technologies.

All it takes for highly organized, well-funded extremists to win and impose unprecedented levels of control and censorship is for the majority of people to do nothing. Artificial intelligence is the civil liberties, political fairness, and economic growth issue of the decade, if not the century. These extremists threaten the civil liberties of every American and the shared prosperity of our future. Now is the time to make it clear that for the vast majority of Americans, it is unacceptable to seize control of personal technology use by fiat, just because a few billionaires are kept up at night by science fiction.

Note: This piece has been updated since publication.


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