White House Meets With AI Leaders in Attempt to ‘Protect Our Society’
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United States President Joe Biden’s administration reiterated its commitment to help foster responsible artificial intelligence (AI) development on Thursday, as Vice President Kamala Harris met with CEOs from top companies building and researching AI products and tools.
The recent surge in AI advancements—driven in large part by the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT program and subsequent developments—has propelled discussions on ethical and conscientious AI practices to the forefront of public discourse.
“AI is one of the most powerful technologies of our time, but in order to seize the opportunities it presents, we must first mitigate its risks,” the administration wrote in a statement.
Advances in tech always present new opportunities and challenges. Generative AI is no different.
Today, I met with CEOs of companies at the forefront of these advances to discuss the responsibility that governments and companies have to mitigate risks to protect the public. pic.twitter.com/YQOkdv1BgR
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 5, 2023
“President Biden has been clear that when it comes to AI,” the statement continued, “we must place people and communities at the center by supporting responsible innovation that serves the public good while protecting our society, security, and economy.”
The meetings today, the administration said, were intended to underscore this responsibility and emphasize the importance of trustworthy, ethical innovation with safeguards that mitigate risks and potential harms to individuals and our society.
Recent advancements in AI technology have brought the conversation around ethical and responsible development of artificial intelligence into the mainstream, with several high-profile tech industry members calling in late March for a pause on development.
The White House’s announcement also includes a $140 million investment by the National Science Foundation to go towards ethical AI research and development, infrastructure, and workforce diversity.
The administration said that OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, Anthropic, Hugging Face, and Stability AI have committed to an independent public evaluation of AI systems during annual hacker convention DEFCON’s AI Village in Las Vegas, Nevada in August.
“The independent evaluation will provide valuable insights into the models’ impacts, helping developers address issues,” the White House wrote. Furthermore, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said that it will roll out draft policy guidance regarding the government’s own potential AI use ahead.
Even though AI development is decades old, the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November and its latest GPT-4 large language model in March shifted the adoption of artificial intelligence into overdrive. Corporations and governments alike have struggled to keep pace with the technology, which has the potential to reshape industries far and wide.
Last October, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy introduced the blueprint for an “AI Bill of Rights” presenting five guiding principles for automated systems’ design, use, and deployment.
President Biden then signed an executive order in February instructing federal agencies to eliminate bias and protect the public from algorithmic discrimination in new technologies, including AI.
“Through this work, it was evident that advances in technology, including the challenges posed by AI, are complex. Government, private companies, and others in society must tackle these challenges together,” Vice President Harris said after today’s meetings.
“President Biden and I are committed to doing our part—including by advancing potential new regulations and supporting new legislation—so that everyone can safely benefit from technological innovations,” she added.