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US Lawmakers Discuss ‘Safe Innovation’ And Regulation At AI Insight Forum With Tech Majors

Opening remarks emphasised setting the foundation for a bipartisan AI policy and ensuring ‘SAFE innovation’ when it comes to working with artificial intelligence.

Initiating discussions on the regulation of Artificial Intelligence, lawmakers of the United States convened the AI Insight Forum with tech giants, including Google, Meta, Microsoft, and Tesla, along with civil rights advocates on September 13, 2023. Hosted by US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the meeting primarily focused on building a consensus for government regulation of AI alongside self-regulatory measures adopted by industry actors to mitigate risks posed by AI technology.

In his opening remarks to the attendees, Schumer emphasised setting the foundation for a bipartisan AI policy and ensuring ‘SAFE innovation’ when it comes to working with artificial intelligence. He explained that while transformative innovation is essential for developing new cures, improving education, protecting global food supply, and national security, among other uses, it is also important to ensure sustainable innovation to enforce safeguards and a law that will make AI systems more accountable, transparent and secure.

“Government must play a role in requiring these safeguards. Because even if individual companies promote safeguards, there will always be rogue actors, unscrupulous companies, and foreign adversaries that seek to harm us,” the Senator added. In his concluding remarks, the Senator also indicated that while there were differing views among the members, it was clear that government action cannot be ruled out.

The members also discussed concerns associated with AI deployment, such as displacement of workers, training workers for AI adoption, issues that can arise during elections, regulators, and the need for transparency, etc.

Why it matters:

In a series of meetings, the US government has been initiating talks to work in conjunction with tech giants to frame appropriate strategies for deploying AI systems responsibly. At the same time, a US Senate subcommittee conducted hearings focused on supervising AI. These discussions were on the necessity of regulating AI, with consideration given to the roles of both the US government and the companies involved in its creation. Industry players have also come together to work with other stakeholders. For instance, in July, Google, Microsoft, OpenAI and Anthropic collaborated to establish a Frontier Model Forum, an industry body for ensuring “safe and responsible development of frontier AI models”. As risks related to AI use appear to be diverse and evolving, a collaborative approach may lead to carving out a comprehensive strategy for addressing such challenges.

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Meta’s word:

Acknowledging the engagement of the Congress with AI, Meta Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg highlighted the importance of government action to strike a balance between innovation and safety to ensure equity. Zuckerberg is of the view that safety and access are the two defining issues for AI.

To address issues related to the safety of AI systems, he stated that it’s on the companies to make sure that products are built and used responsibly. This would involve building adequate safeguards and making a collaborative effort to establish guardrails for generative AI models.

To improve access to “state-of-the-art AI”, he emphasised on open-sourcing AI infrastructure and works. “Open source democratizes access to these tools, and that helps level the playing field and foster innovation for people and businesses, which I think is valuable for our economy overall,” Zuckerberg added.

“If at some point in the future these systems get close to the level of superintelligence, then these equities will shift and we’ll reconsider this approach. But in the meantime, there’s a huge amount of value to unlock for people with the current generation of technology, and we’re ready to partner with government on this too,” he concluded.

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Written By

Curious about privacy, surveillance developments and the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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