On the heels of a warning by the deputy attorney general that the agency will seek stiffer penalties in cases involving the misuse of artificial intelligence, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its first chief AI officer.

Jonathan Mayer will hold the title, in addition to serving as chief science and technology advisor, according to an announcement Thursday by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Mayer will advise the DOJ on “complex issues requiring technical expertise, including on matters relating to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and other areas of emerging technology,” per the release.

The chief AI officer role will see Mayer “work on intradepartmental and cross-agency efforts on AI and adjacent issues” and lead the department’s new Emerging Technology Board.

Mayer will be situated within the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy. He joins from Princeton University, where he serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and School of Public and International Affairs.

“Jonathan’s expertise will be invaluable in ensuring that the entire Justice Department—including our law enforcement components, litigating components, grantmaking entities, and U.S. attorneys’ offices—is prepared for both the challenges and opportunities that new technologies present,” said Garland.

In a speech last week, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco vowed robust enforcement in cases of AI misuse.

“Going forward, where Department of Justice prosecutors can seek stiffer sentences for offenses made significantly more dangerous by the misuse of AI—they will,” she said. “And if we determine that existing sentencing enhancements don’t adequately address the harms caused by misuse of AI, we will seek reforms to those enhancements to close that gap.”

She added the DOJ would create guidance to govern its own use of AI, including through stress tests to assess fairness, accuracy, and safety.

“These guardrails will be critical for the department to do its job and deliver on its mission,” she said. “The rule of law, the safety of our country, and the rights of Americans depend on it.”