The White House recently announced a new executive order that requires companies to share any potential national security risks associated with their artificial intelligence projects with the federal government. The move is seen as a major step forward in the government’s efforts to address the potential security issues that may be posed by increasingly smart and highly capable AI systems in the future. The order, unveiled Wednesday during a press conference hosted by National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, calls on private companies to develop standards for AI programs and products and to report “material data security risks” to the federal government. It also requires companies to make public any serious safety issues associated with their AI products, along with their plans to address those risks. The order specifically targets providers of “critical technology” and “sensitive national security risks,” such as those related to facial recognition or algorithms that can recommend medical interventions. According to the White House, the executive order is a response to the “rapid evolution and increased use of AI in America,” and is meant to “remove obstacles to AI development and deployment” while ensuring that such deployments regard social, ethical, and economic values. The order gives the federal government more authority to investigate how companies are using AI and assess their potential security risks. Companies that ignore the order can face hefty fines or even criminal charges. The order is a victory for those concerned about the potential negative consequences of AI implementation, but also raises questions about what the federal government is legally allowed to do with the data it collects. It’s unclear if the data will be kept private or if it will be shared with companies or other government departments. There is also a chance that this order will be challenged in court, as it continues to test the limits of the government’s authority. Still, for now, the White House’s AI executive order provides a framework for companies to protect their national security risk while allowing them to benefit from the technology.