President Biden Meets With Leading AI CEOs To Address Safety Concerns
On May 5th, 2023, President Joe Biden met with the Leading AI CEOs of companies such as Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Anthropic, to discuss the importance of ensuring the safety of AI products before deployment. The meeting took place at the White House, where the administration emphasized the need for greater transparency, safety evaluations, and protection against malicious attacks during a “frank and constructive discussion” with the executives.
The meeting aimed to address growing concerns over potential privacy issues, employment bias, and the use of AI to create misinformation campaigns. With the rapid development of generative AI models such as ChatGPT, the technology has gained popularity and driven intense tech hype. However, the risks posed by AI technology have prompted the Biden administration to release guidelines called the “AI Bill of Rights” to protect Americans from the detrimental effects of automated systems, including bias, discrimination, and privacy issues.
Despite the invitation of executives from leading AI companies, some AI experts criticized the exclusion of ethics researchers who have warned of AI’s dangers for years. They argue that the companies invited to the meeting represent those who have created the issues with AI that the White House seeks to address. Criticism was shared on social media, with AI researcher Dr. Timnit Gebru stating that the people invited to the meeting represent those who have caused the issues and fired AI experts for warning of the potential risks.
The AI community is divided between “AI safety” and “AI ethics.” AI safety is a movement concerned primarily with hypothetical existential risk from AI, and it is openly associated with OpenAI employees. In contrast, AI ethics comprises a group of researchers concerned about the misapplications and impacts of current AI systems, including bias and misinformation.
In response to the meeting, Dr. Brandeis Marshall suggested organizing a “counter-meeting” that would include Hugging Face, the Distributed AI Research Institute, the UCLA Center of Critical Internet Inquiry, and the Algorithmic Justice League. The inclusion of these groups would allow for a more comprehensive discussion on AI technology’s ethical implications.
Alongside the meeting, the White House announced a $140 million investment to launch seven AI research institutes through the National Science Foundation. Additionally, six AI companies, including Anthropic, Google, Hugging Face, Nvidia, OpenAI, and Stability AI, will participate in public evaluations of their AI systems at DEF CON 31.
In conclusion, President Joe Biden’s meeting with the CEOs of leading AI companies aimed to emphasize the importance of ensuring the safety of AI products before deployment. Despite criticism from some AI experts, the meeting showed executive interest in a hot policy topic. The Biden administration has released guidelines called the “AI Bill of Rights” to protect Americans from the detrimental effects of automated systems. The inclusion of AI ethics researchers and the collaboration between various AI companies and institutes can help develop more comprehensive guidelines to ensure the safe and ethical deployment of AI technology.