Washington University in St. Louis junior Emma Lembke, founder of the internet safety organization Log Off, was invited to the White House Oct. 30 to observe President Joe Biden sign an executive order establishing new standards for artificial intelligence (AI) safety and security.
Lembke calls the guidelines an important step in the fight to protect future generations from the harms of social media.
“Artificial intelligence runs the social media algorithms that feed millions of young users a personalized online experience, often at the expense of user security, privacy and well-being,” said Lembke, who is studying political science in Arts & Sciences. “Attempts to regulate AI, like Biden’s executive order, constitute a major step to rein in the algorithmic fueling of the mental health crisis disproportionately impacting our youngest, and often most vulnerable, communities.”
Lembke said it was an honor to travel to join policymakers and leaders such as Sen. Chuck Schumer, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in the East Room of the White House. She traveled to Washington last winter to testify on online safety before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Witnessing the signing of the executive order amidst the nation’s most powerful served as a powerful reminder that being a digital changemaker has no age limit and we have no more time to waste,” said Lembke, who recently was named a Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Young Defender. “I look forward to continuing my work alongside other Gen Z activists to ensure future generations are prioritized in the creation, implementation and evolution of AI.”