Joe Biden stated on Tuesday that it is still unclear whether or not AI poses a threat, but that tech companies should take precautions to assure the security of their products before exposing them to the public.
Vice President Biden convened a meeting of his science and technology advisors to discuss the potential benefits and threats posed by the fast development of artificial intelligence.
“AI can help deal with some very difficult challenges like disease and climate change, but it also has to address the potential risks to our society, to our economy, to our national security,” Biden addressed the audience, which included executives from tech giants like Microsoft and Google in addition to academics.
As a result of the success of the ChatGPT AI chatbot, which was released a few months ago, artificial intelligence has suddenly become a hot topic of discussion around the world.
This has raised ethical and societal concerns about the use of AI that can generate convincing prose or imagery that looks like it was created by humans.
But, Rebecca Finley, Head of the industry-backed Partnership on AI, argues that Biden’s caution represents something new: the introduction of simple AI tools that may produce misleading material and realistic-looking synthetic media known as deep fakes.
The Democratic president, according to the White House, is using the AI summit to “discuss the importance of protecting rights and safety to ensure responsible innovation and appropriate safeguards” as well as to restate his demand that Congress enact laws to limit the acquisition of personal information by internet corporations and to ensure the safety of minors.
Concerned about the safety of its citizens’ personal information, Italy temporarily suspended ChatGPT last week, and EU politicians have been debating the implementation of new legislation to restrict the sale of particularly dangerous AI technologies throughout the bloc of 27 countries.
But in contrast “the U.S. has had more a laissez-faire approach to the commercial development of AI,” According to Russell Wald, head of Stanford’s Institute for Human-Centered AI, “politics and society” are the two most important areas to consider while developing AI.
Biden’s comments on Tuesday are unlikely to alter that, but he may “is setting the stage for a national dialogue on the topic by elevating attention to AI, which is desperately needed,” Wald declared.
Last year, the Biden administration released a broad list of goals to mitigate the negative effects of the proliferation of AI systems. These goals included recommendations for safeguarding individuals’ private information and reducing government monitoring.
Notably, the Roadmap for an AI Bill of Rights did not include any concrete enforcement measures; rather, it served as a rallying cry for the United States government to take steps to protect digital and civil rights in an AI-enhanced society.
Experts in the fields of science, engineering, technology, and medicine make up Vice President Biden’s council, PCAST, which is co-chaired by Arati Prabhakar, the Cabinet-level head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
When asked if AI poses a threat, Biden stated on Tuesday, “It remains to be seen. Could be.”