The Justice Department gets a chief AI officer

Key Points:

  • The Justice Department appointed Princeton professor Jonathan Mayer as its first chief AI officer
  • Mayer’s responsibilities include building a team around cybersecurity and AI, serving as a science and technology advisor, and helping recruit tech talent
  • Government agencies, per Biden’s executive order on AI, must shore up AI talent, create guidelines on technology use, and establish standards for fairness, particularly in law enforcement


The Justice Department has appointed Princeton professor and tech law expert Jonathan Mayer as its first chief AI officer to better understand the impacts of artificial intelligence on law enforcement. Attorney General Merrick Garland highlighted the need for this position to stay abreast of technological advancements in a rapidly evolving landscape. Mayer’s duties will include assembling a team of cybersecurity and AI experts, advising on science and technology matters, and aiding in tech talent recruitment.


This move aligns with the Biden administration’s directive on AI, which requires government agencies to enhance their AI capabilities, develop guidelines for deploying the technology, and establish fairness standards for its use in areas such as sentencing, parole, and surveillance – all within the Justice Department’s realm. Mayer brings relevant experience from previous government technology roles, having advised on technology law and policy for Vice President Kamala Harris during her tenure in the Senate and served as the chief technologist at the Federal Communications Commission.


This strategic appointment underscores the government’s commitment to harnessing AI responsibly and effectively within the realm of law enforcement, ensuring that innovation is met with informed oversight and expertise.



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