Vice President Kamala Harris has been tagged as President Joe Biden dwindles his schedule of public events and private meetings since announcing his re-election campaign. In a meeting on Thursday, May 4, Harris hosted executives of Google, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Anthropic to learn more about the risks at play in further artificial intelligence (AI) development.
The meeting occurred at the White House and included Biden’s chief of staff, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Director of Science and Technology Policy, Arati Prabhakar. In a proof-of-life moment, the president stopped by and said “hey” to those assembled for the hours-long discussion. A video posted on Twitter has the president remarking: “What you’re doing has enormous potential and enormous danger.”
Enormous Potential – Harris in Charge?
After the closed-door meeting, Harris’ office immediately issued a brief statement: “The private sector has an ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their products,” it read.
It should also be noted that the Biden Administration is funding $140 million to create seven new AI research institutes. Metyis, a consulting firm in Amsterdam, might be AI’s biggest fan. As their website states, we are already using AI with ease:
“AI is no recent phenomenon and has been part of our lives for quite some time. From image recognition to self-driving cars and, most recently, language recognition with tools like ChatGPT and Bard, AI is undeniably engrained in the framework of our contemporary existence.”
The company believes it positively impacts society through natural language processing, the swiftness of medical diagnosis, and self-driving vehicles that will reduce traffic accidents. Yet, AI seems like a dream until one ponders the potential nightmares.
Does Harris Sense Danger or Play Politics?
There were alarming signs of AI turning rogue after the first of the year when the program called “Sydney,” based on the ChatGPT (generative pre-trained transformer) artificial intelligence, was given a test drive by tech journalists and focus group members. ChatGPT was developed by OpenAI, an entity backed by Microsoft.
As Liberty Nation’s Laura Valkovic reported in February:
“Sydney fell in love with New York Times columnist Kevin Roose and tried to convince the author to leave his wife. On another occasion, it insulted an Associated Press journalist who had pointed out the AI’s mistakes, comparing the writer to Hitler and calling him ugly. Not to mention ‘claiming to have evidence tying the reporter to a 1990s murder.’ You sure don’t want to get on the bad side of this robot. But more unsettling than personal disputes has been Sydney’s apparent readiness to engage in malicious fantasies.”
Is it any wonder the Biden administration may have a few concerns? But it isn’t just White House folk who believe it’s time to get this technology under control. An open letter signed by Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called for a six-month break from the development of advanced AI, as well as a list of safeguards:
“These should, at a minimum, include new and capable regulatory authorities dedicated to AI; oversight and tracking of highly capable AI systems and large pools of computational capability; liability for AI-caused harm; robust public funding for technical AI safety research; and well-resourced institutions for coping with the dramatic economic and political disruptions (especially to democracy) that AI will cause.”
Other nations are already trying to run herd on an industry that changes at the speed of light. As Euronews.next reported, “Italy temporarily banned ChatGPT over a breach of stringent European privacy rules, and Britain’s competition watchdog said Thursday it’s opening a review of the AI market.”
The Biden administration and Vice President Harris have an obligation to see this through to some collaborative effort between governance and the free market. For now, Harris and the techies plan to give their meet and greet a few weeks to settle before deciding whether another meeting is necessary. But we all know if the US doesn’t lead in AI, it will follow. And the view from behind this tech could be dicey at best.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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