USA | May 4, 2023

White House to meet Microsoft, Google CEOs on AI dangers

/ Our Today

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Smartphone is seen in front of Microsoft logo displayed in this illustration. (File Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)


The White House will host CEOs of top artificial intelligence companies, including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Microsoft, on Thursday (May 4) to discuss risks and safeguards as the technology catches the attention of governments and lawmakers globally.

Generative artificial intelligence has become a buzzword this year, with apps such as ChatGPT capturing the public’s fancy, sparking a rush among companies to launch similar products they believe will change the nature of work.

Millions of users have begun testing such tools, which supporters say can make medical diagnoses, write screenplays, create legal briefs and debug software, leading to growing concern about how the technology could lead to privacy violations, skew employment decisions, and power scams and misinformation campaigns.

A 3D-printed Google logo is seen in this illustration. (File Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

“We aim to have a frank discussion about the risks we see in current and near-term AI development,” said a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Our North Star here is this idea that if we’re going to seize these benefits, we have to start by managing the risks.”

Thursday’s meeting, will include Google’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella, OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Anthropic’s Dario Amodei, along with Vice President Kamala Harris and administration officials including Biden’s Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Director of the National Economic Council Lael Brainard and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

Ahead of the meeting, OpenAI’s Altman told reporters the White House was “seriously engaged” on the issue and they “want to get it right.”

OpenAI logo is seen in this illustration. (File Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

“It’s good to try to get ahead of this,” he said when asked if the White House was moving quickly enough on AI regulation. “It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but it’s one I’m sure we can handle.”

The administration also announced a $140 million investment from the National Science Foundation to launch seven new AI research institutes and said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget would release policy guidance on the use of AI by the federal government. Leading AI developers, including Anthropic, Google, Hugging Face, NVIDIA Corp , OpenAI, and Stability AI, will participate in a public evaluation of their AI systems.

Shortly after Biden announced his reelection bid, the Republican National Committee produced a video featuring a dystopian future during a second Biden term, which was built entirely with AI imagery.

The logo of Nvidia Corporation is seen during the annual Computex computer exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan (File Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

Such political ads are expected to become more common as AI technology proliferates.

United States regulators have fallen short of the tough approach European governments have taken on tech regulation and in crafting strong rules on deepfakes and misinformation that companies must follow or risk hefty fines.

“We don’t see this as a race,” the senior official said, adding that the administration is working closely with the U.S.-EU Trade & Technology Council on the issue.

In February, Biden signed an executive order directing federal agencies to eliminate bias in their use of AI. The Biden administration has also released an AI Bill of Rights and a risk management framework.

U.S. President Joe Biden walks before boarding the Marine One helicopter to travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the first lady Jill Biden to undergo Mohs surgery for skin cancer, from the White House in Washington, U.S. (File Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division also said they would use their legal authorities to fight AI-related harm.

Tech giants have vowed many times to combat propaganda around elections, fake news about the COVID-19 vaccines, racist and sexist messages, pornography and child exploitation, and hateful messaging targeting ethnic groups.

But they have been unsuccessful, research and news events show. Just about one in five fake news articles in English on six major social media platforms were tagged as misleading or removed, a recent study by activist NGO Avaaz found, and articles in other European languages were not flagged.


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