How Biden’s AI Executive Order Could Impact Marketing Tools

United States President Joe Biden has signed a landmark executive order establishing new standards around artificial intelligence (AI) development and use.

While aimed at managing risks across sectors, the order could potentially impact digital marketers’ use of AI tools.

The order mandates extensive safety testing and reporting requirements for AI systems.

With consumers wary of data privacy risks, the order’s privacy focus could impact AI tools dependent on personal data. They may see pressure to improve transparency.

Marketing tools leveraging AI for functions like ad targeting, content generation, and consumer analytics may fall under tighter scrutiny.

“Many of these [sections] just scratch the surface – particularly in areas like competition policy,” commented Senator Mark Warner on the order, hinting that further AI regulations could come.

Privacy Protection Focus

The order emphasizes protecting privacy as AI capabilities grow. Companies relying on consumer data to train AI systems may need to reassess practices in light of stronger privacy rules.

While supporting AI innovation, Biden made clear unethical uses will not be tolerated.

Marketers should expect more monitoring of opaque AI tools that could enable discrimination or deception.

Preparing For Stricter Audits & Oversight

For businesses and marketers, this new regulatory environment will likely require focusing AI practices on ethics and consumer benefit. More transparency and caution around data collection may also become necessary.

The White House aims to balance rapid AI progress with responsible development. Specifically, the order directs the FTC to use its authorities to promote fair competition in AI development and use.

This opens the door to potential antitrust actions against marketing tech companies misusing their position or acquiring smaller AI startups.

There is also a focus on mitigating bias in AI systems, which could lead to audits of marketing tools for discrimination in areas like ad delivery and dynamic pricing. Adopting bias mitigation techniques and auditing algorithms will grow in importance.

Promoting privacy-preserving methods like federated learning indicates marketers may need to rely less on accessing sensitive consumer data directly to train AI models.

Ethical AI As A Competitive Advantage?

The push for ethics and transparency could give marketers embracing responsible AI a competitive advantage as consumers demand fair treatment. However, a lack of communication around AI use could be seen as deceptive.

As the government ramps up the hiring of AI talent, oversight and auditing of AI-driven marketing is likely to become more robust under the new standards.

Looking Ahead

While the White House supports AI innovation, Biden’s order signals that opaque, biased, or harmful uses of AI face a new regulatory environment.

As capabilities advance, marketers should proactively audit algorithms, minimize consumer data collection, and communicate transparently about AI use cases to maintain trust.

Though certain details remain to be seen, this executive order provides a clear window into the Biden administration’s priorities for responsible AI development.

Featured Image: lev radin/Shutterstock

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