Energy & Technology

White House to hold meeting with Microsoft and Google CEOs regarding potential risks of AI

Microsoft and Google CEOs

The White House is set to hold a meeting with top CEOs of artificial intelligence (AI) companies, including Microsoft and Google, to discuss potential risks and safeguards as AI technology continues to catch the attention of governments and lawmakers worldwide. The rise of generative AI has been a hot topic this year, with apps such as ChatGPT generating excitement among the public and leading companies to develop similar products that could transform the nature of work.

As millions of users begin to test these tools, concerns about potential privacy violations, skewed employment decisions, and the potential for scams and misinformation campaigns to be powered by AI are growing. To address these issues, the White House is bringing together industry leaders, including Sundar Pichai of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Sam Altman of OpenAI, and Dario Amodei of Anthropic, along with Vice President Kamala Harris and several administration officials, to discuss the risks and benefits of AI.

An anonymous senior administration official stated that the meeting’s goal is to have a frank discussion about the risks associated with current and near-term AI development. The official also emphasized that the administration aims to manage these risks in order to seize the benefits of AI technology. This meeting will also include a $140 million investment from the National Science Foundation to launch seven new AI research institutes and policy guidance on the use of AI by the federal government.

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The AI industry leaders will also participate in a public evaluation of their AI systems at the AI Village at DEFCON 31, one of the largest hacker conventions globally, using a platform created by Scale AI and Microsoft. These evaluations are part of an effort to increase transparency and accountability in the AI industry.

As AI technology proliferates, political ads and misinformation campaigns are expected to become more common. The United States regulators have not taken as strict an approach to tech regulation as European governments, which have crafted strong rules on deep fakes and misinformation that companies must follow or face hefty fines.

The Biden administration has taken steps to address these concerns, including signing an executive order directing federal agencies to eliminate bias in their use of AI, releasing an AI Bill of Rights, and a risk management framework. The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division have also recently stated that they would use their legal authorities to fight AI-related harm.

Although tech giants have promised to combat propaganda around elections, fake news about COVID-19 vaccines, racist and sexist messages, pornography and child exploitation, and hateful messaging targeting ethnic groups, they have been unsuccessful in their efforts, as research and news events show. A recent study by activist NGO Avaaz found that just one in five fake news articles in English on six major social media platforms were tagged as misleading or removed, and articles in other European languages were not flagged.

In summary, the White House’s meeting with top AI industry leaders seeks to address potential risks and safeguards associated with AI technology. The administration is working to manage these risks and seize the benefits of AI technology by investing in research, releasing policy guidance, and partnering with industry leaders to increase transparency and accountability in the AI industry. As AI technology continues to evolve, the administration is taking steps to eliminate bias, fight AI-related harm, and ensure that AI benefits everyone.

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