President Biden's AI directive: balancing innovation and ethics in accounting tech

Alexander Hagerup

Alexander Hagerup

Co-founder & CEO

November 10, 2023

6 min read

President Biden's AI directive: balancing innovation and ethics in accounting tech

The conversation around responsible AI development has never been more critical in the wake of rapid advancements in artificial intelligence. On October 30th, 2023, President Biden's Executive Order on AI marked a significant milestone in this ongoing dialogue. The order, advocating for principles of fairness, transparency, and accountability, aims to steer the course of AI innovation with a firm hand on the ethical rudder. As we navigate the uncharted waters of AI's potential and pitfalls, this directive from the Oval Office offers a blend of guidance and governance.

My take on this development is one of cautious optimism. The order acknowledges the importance of AI in the current technological landscape and its profound implications on safety, security, and trust. It’s encouraging to see a comprehensive approach being adopted at the highest levels of government, one that could potentially streamline AI innovation while addressing ethical, privacy, and security concerns. This balance is critical as it provides a framework for AI development that is both responsible and ambitious.

The impact on companies operating in the Accounting Solution Space

The executive order could have several implications for companies in the accounting solution space that utilize AI:

Safety and Security Standards: With the new requirements for AI safety and security, companies will need to ensure their AI systems are compliant with these standards. This could mean investing in red-team testing and being transparent with safety test results, particularly if the AI systems could be considered as foundation models that have broader implications on national security and public safety.

Privacy-Preserving Techniques: The emphasis on privacy-preserving AI techniques is particularly relevant. Companies will need to align their AI development with privacy-preserving methods, possibly affecting how data is collected and used within AI-driven accounting systems.

Equity and Mitigation of Bias: Accounting AI systems will need to be free of bias, ensuring that algorithmic decisions do not lead to discrimination. This is essential for maintaining fairness in financial assessments and decisions. The executive order is a good first step for advancing equity and mitigating bias in AI.

The impact of the EO for

For, this executive order prompts a review of our AI platform to ensure it adheres to the new safety and security standards. It may prompt additional privacy and red-team testing procedures. It also opens up opportunities to innovate within the space of privacy-preserving AI techniques, which could give us a competitive advantage and align with the company’s commitment to responsible AI usage.

The relevance for Accountants or Solution Providers

For accountants and solution providers, the Executive Order issued by President Biden holds significant promise for propelling the industry into a new phase of growth.

Here's why:

Privacy as a competitive edge in accounting

The accounting field is entrusted with highly confidential financial information, making the need for stringent privacy protocols paramount. With the Executive Order's emphasis on privacy, AI-driven accounting solutions are poised to leverage enhanced privacy measures as a key differentiator in the market.

Ensuring Equity through Bias-Free AI

In the realm of financial analysis and reporting, the impartiality of AI systems is non-negotiable. The Executive Order's call for fairness ensures that AI in accounting stands up to the highest standards of equity, preventing discrimination and fostering trust in algorithmic decision-making.

Fostering innovation and maintaining a competitive edge

The directive's push for innovation is a green light for accounting solution providers to invest in cutting-edge AI applications, ensuring the industry remains at the forefront of technological advancement.

Proactive AI management in response to the EO

The Executive Order is likely to usher in a new wave of diligence in AI management across companies. For and its peers, this translates to:

  1. Rigorous testing of AI for safety and impartiality.
  2. Commitment to the development and integration of privacy-preserving AI technologies.
  3. Continuous engagement with regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and leadership in ethical AI practices.

The true measure of the Executive Order's success will be in its execution and the establishment of robust policies. If applied effectively, it can mark a progressive step in AI regulation. It's essential, however, that these policies evolve in tandem with technological advances to prevent them from becoming outdated, ensuring they continue to serve their purpose in risk management and the protection of privacy.

Other thoughts and observations

While the executive order establishes a high-level framework for AI governance, the devil will be in the details of how these guidelines are enacted. Ongoing engagement with the AI community, including companies like, will be crucial to ensure that the rules are practical, promote innovation, and do not stifle the growth of AI in the accounting solutions space.

Overall, this executive order represents a thoughtful attempt to manage the risks while capitalizing on the opportunities presented by AI. As the founder of an AI-driven company in the accounting space, I am particularly aware of the balance that needs to be struck between innovation and regulation. The executive order’s success will be determined by how well it maintains this balance,  how effectively it can adapt to the rapidly evolving AI landscape, and how fast the broader industry embraces responsible growth and adoption of AI. 

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