U.S. President Joe Biden addresses world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 19, 2023.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden commented on his plan to work with competitors around the world “to ensure we harness the power of artificial intelligence for good protecting our citizens from this most serious risk.”
“Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence hold both enormous potential and enormous dangers,” Biden told the UN on Tuesday. “We must be sure they are used as tools of opportunity, not weapons of oppression. Along with world leaders, the United States is working to strengthen rules and policies so that technologies of AI are safe before their release into the public, to ensure that we govern this technology, and not the other way around, it governs us.
His comments come as U.S. policymakers struggle to learn more about how technology works to determine appropriate safeguards to protect Americans without stifling positive innovation. The discussion takes place against a backdrop of intense competition with China, which is also seeking to become a world leader in this technology.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., hosted prominent tech CEOs, including Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX and Mark Zuckerberg of Meta, as well as labor and rights leaders Civics, to speak with AI senators as lawmakers consider legislative protections. . After the meeting, Schumer told reporters that everyone in the room agreed that the government needs to play a role in regulating AI.
Exactly what this will look like is still up for debate. Lawmakers differ on the appropriate body to regulate AI, as well as how lightly policymakers should apply regulation. Schumer warned that it would be counterproductive to act too quickly, pointing the finger at the European Union, which quickly created the AI law.
But, Schumer said, “on a timeline, it can’t be days or weeks, but it shouldn’t be years either. It will be in the general category of months.”
Meanwhile, several agencies have asserted their ability to curb AI abuse through existing legal authority. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology released a voluntary risk management framework for AI earlier this year.
The Biden administration has also secured voluntary commitments from major AI companies to test the security of their tools before making them public.
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