The White House played host to representatives from leading generative AI companies and announced several new initiatives about the technology and the rapidly expanding business ecosystem around it. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris both met with executives from OpenAI, Alphabet, Anthropic, and Microsoft to discuss safety and responsible innovation, upcoming policy guidelines, and unveil plans to invest $140 million in seven new AI research hubs.
The president and vice president centered the discussion around the idea that companies developing this technology are responsible for making them safe. There has been a call for a pause on generative AI research, including an open letter from Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and other tech company leaders. The administration’s meeting with the companies served as a forum for announcing a joint plan to set up public evaluations of AI systems at an upcoming defense technology conference. The idea is to better inform researchers and the public about the impacts of these models and enable AI companies and developers to take steps to fix any issues found in those models. To encourage AI research in general, the National Science Foundation also announced $140 million in funding to launch seven new National AI Research Institutes, for a total of 25 around the country.
On a related note, the Office of Budget Management (OBM) is set to publish preliminary policy guidelines on the use of AI technology in American government agencies this summer, open to public feedback. These guidelines are supposed to maintain security and safety during throughout the development, acquisition, and application of AI systems
“President Biden and I are committed to doing our part – including by advancing potential new regulations and supporting new legislation – so that everyone can safely benefit from technological innovations,” Vice President Harris said in a statement after the meeting. “As I shared today with CEOs of companies at the forefront of American AI innovation, the private sector has an ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their products. And every company must comply with existing laws to protect the American people. I look forward to the follow through and follow up in the weeks to come.”
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