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White House Presses Tech CEOs on Dangers of AI


US Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday met with the CEOs of several tech firms to discuss the risks associated with artificial intelligence as the White House announced a series of initiatives aimed at addressing those challenges.

During a two-hour meeting at the White House, Harris met with the leaders of Google, Microsoft, ChatGPT maker OpenAI and AI startup Anthropic. President Joe Biden also made a brief visit to the meeting.

“What you’re doing has enormous potential and enormous danger,” Biden told the CEOs, according to a video posted to his Twitter account.

The meeting represented the first AI summit at the White House since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November focused the public’s attention on generative AI, a powerful tool that mimics humans’ ability to write software, hold conversations and compose poetry. The technology has also raised concerns about how it might spread misinformation and eliminate jobs.

“The private sector has an ethical, moral and legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their products,” Harris said in a statement. “And every company must comply with existing laws to protect the American people.”

See also: ChatGPT vs. Bing vs. Google Bard: Which AI Is the Most Helpful?

Before Thursday’s meeting, the Biden administration announced that the National Science Foundation will spend $140 million to promote research and development in AI. It also said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget would release policy guidance on the use of AI by the federal government.

AI chatbots like ChatGPT took the world by storm late last year by combing through massive datasets and putting together sentences to answer just about any question with humanlike responses. Following ChatGPT’s release by OpenAI, Microsoft employed ChatGPT’s technology foundation, GPT-4, to boost Bing search results, while Google responded by revealing its ChatGPT rival, called Bard.

But the tools have also heightened concerns over the risks associated with AI. In March, hundreds of tech executives and experts in AI signed an open letter urging leading artificial intelligence labs to pause development of AI systems, citing “profound risks” to human society. Among those signing the letter were Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque and Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari.

Earlier this month, a prominent computer scientist sometimes referred to as the “godfather of AI” quit Google and said he regrets what AI could mean for misinformation and people’s livelihoods. Geoffrey Hinton said he fears that average people won’t be able to tell the difference between real and AI-generated photos, videos and text.

He also voiced concerns about AI’s ability to eliminate people’s jobs. A report released in March by Goldman Sachs predicts that as many as 300 million jobs could be affected by generative AI, with up to 7% of US jobs at risk of being replaced by AI.

Representatives for Microsoft and OpenAI declined to comment on the meeting. Google and Anthropic didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Editors’ note: CNET is using an AI engine to create some personal finance explainers that are edited and fact-checked by our editors. For more, see this post.


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