DHS launches new AI safety and security board

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The board will be made up of 22 representatives from private sector, government and academia and will advise Secretary Mayorkas on risk mitigation for AI in critical infrastructure. 

The Department of Homeland Security brought on 22 new representatives from various areas of the larger artificial intelligence sector to advise the agency on safety recommendations when developing and deploying AI systems in U.S. critical infrastructure.

Announced on Friday, the agency’s newly-formed Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security Board is composed of AI experts from the private sector, academia, government and industry advocacy groups, who will work in an advisory capacity to ensure AI and machine learning systems adequately protect the public. Areas of focus for the board include the applications of AI in sectors like transportation, pipeline and grid operations, as well as internet service providers.

Some of the board participants include Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI; Dario Amodei, CEO and co-founder of Anthropic; Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines; Fei-Fei Li, co-director at the Stanford Human-centered Artificial Intelligence Institute; Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet; Jensen Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA; Arati Prabhakar, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Alexandra Reeve Givens, president and CEO at the Center for Democracy and Technology, among others.

The 22 board members will report to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

“Artificial Intelligence is a transformative technology that can advance our national interests in unprecedented ways. At the same time, it presents real risks— risks that we can mitigate by adopting best practices and taking other studied, concrete actions,” Mayorkas said in a press release. “I am grateful that such accomplished leaders are dedicating their time and expertise to the Board to help ensure our nation’s critical infrastructure — the vital services upon which Americans rely every day — effectively guards against the risks and realizes the enormous potential of this transformative technology.”

The board’s formation was mandated by President Joe Biden in his 2023 Executive Order on AI and follows the recently-published DHS Homeland Threat Assessment of 2024, which spotlights the ongoing digital threats aimed at the networks which govern critical infrastructure operations. 

It also comes as a water treatment facility situated between Texas and New Mexico suffered a severe cyberattack last week, with a Google Mandiant report linking it to Russian state-backed hackers.