US President Joe Biden has expressed his concerns about the potential risks of artificial intelligence (AI) and has called on tech companies to take responsibility for ensuring the safety of their products before releasing them to the public. Speaking at a meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Biden said that while AI could help combat significant challenges such as disease and climate change, its creators must also consider the possible threats to society, the economy, and national security.
When asked if AI is dangerous, Biden stated that it “remains to be seen,” but acknowledged that it could be. He pointed to the impact that social media has had on young people’s mental health, stating that it demonstrates the damage that new technologies can cause if safety measures are not put in place.
Biden’s remarks come at a time when the debate over how to regulate AI is intensifying, with some leading figures in the tech industry advocating for a pause in its advancement until safety measures can be established. Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak signed an open letter calling for a six-month halt to research on AI systems due to the “deep hazards to society and mankind” posed by the technology.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Office of the Privacy Commissioner has launched an investigation into OpenAI, the California-based developer of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that caused a global sensation for its ability to generate essays, songs, exams, and news articles from brief prompts. The investigation was opened in response to a complaint alleging the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information without consent. Critics have long been concerned about where ChatGPT and its competitors get their data and how they process it.
Italy has also become the first country in the Western world to block ChatGPT over data use concerns. The European police agency Europol has warned that criminals could take advantage of AI, such as conversational bots, to commit fraud and other cybercrimes.
Biden has recommended that the US Congress pass laws that place strict limits on personal data collected by tech companies and ban advertising targeted at children. US companies are at the forefront of the burgeoning AI sector, which is transforming the power of machines to do everything from writing e-mails for people to driving their vehicles.
In conclusion, Biden’s comments highlight the need for greater regulation of the AI industry to ensure that the technology is used safely and ethically. The investigation into OpenAI and the decision by Italy to block ChatGPT also underscore the growing concerns around data use and privacy in the sector. As the use of AI continues to expand, policymakers and the tech industry must work together to develop regulatory frameworks that protect society from the potential risks posed by these powerful new technologies.