Tech CEOs called to White House to discuss AI risks

May 4, 2023


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The chief executives of Alphabet Inc’s Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Anthropic met with Vice President Kamala Harris and other top administration officials on Thursday to discuss key artificial intelligence (AI) issues.

The invitation sent to the CEOs outlined President Joe Biden’s demand that technology companies ensure the safety of their products before making them available to the public.

The rapid growth of AI technology has raised concerns about privacy violations, bias, and the potential spread of scams and misinformation. ChatGPT has attracted particular attention from U.S. lawmakers as it recently became the fastest-growing consumer application in history with over 100 million monthly active users. 

In April, President Biden stated that it remains to be seen whether AI is dangerous, but that technology companies have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe, citing the harm already caused by powerful technologies without proper safeguards.

On Monday, the White House Domestic Policy Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a blog post warning of the serious risk that the technology poses to workers.

Thursday’s events

An official statement published on the White House website on Thursday read, “Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions that will further promote responsible American innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) and protect people’s rights and safety.”

Thursday’s meeting was attended by high-level officials such as Biden’s Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, and Director of the National Economic Council Lael Brainard. 

Some of the measures announced include the requirement for AI systems to be independently evaluated by leading AI developers, including Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI, to ensure they align with the principles and practices outlined in the administration’s Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights and AI Risk Management Framework.

The National Science Foundation is also providing $140 million in funding to launch seven new National AI Research Institutes, bringing the total to 25 across the country, and extending the network of organizations involved into nearly every state.

The Office of Management and Budget will release draft policy guidance on the use of AI systems by the U.S. government for public comment, to ensure their development, procurement, and use centers on safeguarding the American people’s rights and safety.

A look elsewhere

Meanwhile, the European Union continues to make strides in ChatGPT regulation. In an open letter from April, a group of twelve European Union lawmakers advocated for the implementation of new regulations to govern a broader range of artificial intelligence tools, going beyond those that had been classified as explicitly high-risk under the proposed AI Act for the region.

An EU senior administration official said the Biden administration is working with its European counterparts in developing adequate regulations.Having temporarily banned ChatGPT, Italy has made the software accessible once again. The shift comes after OpenAI agreed to the Italian watchdog’s terms, which required its privacy policy to be accessible to people before they registered for ChatGPT and for there to be a tool to verify the age of users.


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