Biden Meets With Google, Microsoft Bosses Over AI

US president Joe Biden has met with the chief executives of Google and Microsoft and two AI companies at the White House as the government seeks to ensure artificial intelligence products are developed in a safe and secure way.

The meeting comes amidst a surge of investment in so-called generative AI, which can produce human-like text and images from prompts, following on the success of OpenAI’s ChatGPT late last year.

Critics say such tools are being developed too rapidly and could displace human jobs, while facilitating fraud and the spread of misinformation.

Biden, who has experimented with ChatGPT, told the corporate officials they must mitigate the current and potential risks AI poses to individuals, society and national security, including risks to human rights and jobs, the administration said.

Image credit: Tara Winstead/Pexels

Safety

The meeting included a “frank and constructive” discussion that touched on the need for companies to be more transparent with policymakers and the public about their AI systems.

There must be checks in place to allow AI systems to evaluate the safety, security and efficacy of AI system and to ensure the tools are secure from malicious actors and attacks, the government said.

The two-hour meeting last Thursday included Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, as well as Sam Altman, chief executive of Microsoft-backed OpenAI, and Dario Armodei, chief of Google-backed Anthropic.

Vice president Kamala Harris and senior administration officials also attended.

‘Moral responsibility’

Harris said in a statement AI has the potential to improve lives but could pose safety, privacy and civil rights concerns.

She told the chief executives the private sector has an “ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their products”.

The administration is open to advancing new regulations and legislation on AI, she said.

OpenAI’s Altman told reporters that where regulation is concerned the executives were “surprisingly on the same page on what needs to happen”.

Research

The White House also announced a $140 million (£111m) investment from the National Science Foundation to launch seven new AI research institutes.

The EU is developing far-reaching AI regulations, with a European Parliament committee due to vote on the AI Act this week.

Meanwhile, Italy recently temporarily banned ChatGPT over concerns it breaches EU data protection rules, while the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said late last week it would open a review of the AI market.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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