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White House Invites Big Tech CEOs To Tackle AI Regulation

 |  May 4, 2023

White House officials will meet with tech CEOs as the President Joe Biden administration promotes “responsible” artificial intelligence.

Vice President Kamala Harris and other officials are set to host the heads of Microsoft, Google parent Alphabet, OpenAI and Anthropic Thursday (May 4) as the administration rolls out what it said in a press release is a plan to develop (AI) in a way that protects the public.

“AI is one of the most powerful technologies of our time, but in order to seize the opportunities it presents, we must first mitigate its risks,” the White House said in the release.

That means making sure companies have a duty to ensure products are safe before making them public, the release said, hence the meetings with the CEOs. Google and Microsoft have both invested heavily in Anthropic and OpenAI, respectively.

Related: White House Holding Roundtable On Big Tech Regulations

The White House said in the release several AI companies — including the four taking part in Thursday’s meeting — have agreed to conduct a “public evaluation” of AI systems.

In addition, the administration said in the release the National Science Foundation will invest $140 million to fund seven new National AI Research Institutes, to develop AI for use in critical areas such as climate, public health, education and cybersecurity.

The announcement came one day after Lina Khan, chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), wrote an op-ed calling for AI to be regulated.

“Can [the U.S.] continue to be the home of world-leading technology without accepting race-to-the-bottom business models and monopolistic control that locks out higher quality products or the next big idea?” asked Khan. “Yes — if we make the right policy choices.”

AI is developing rapidly, so much so that regulatory efforts are often playing catch up.

It’s why lawmakers in Europe want to give regulators more authority over AI firms, and even Microsoft’s chief economist said illegal use of technology is an inevitability.

In a further blow for unfettered corporate use of the technology, AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton stepped down from his post at Google earlier this week so he could “speak freely” about possible risks that widespread integration of AI could pose to humanity.