Great tech entrepreneurs, e.g Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, They went to the US Congress on Wednesday to announce their plans for artificial intelligence (AI), as the country prepares to develop legislation that would better control this progress.
In addition to the owners of X and Facebook, the CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman Founder of Microsoft, Bill GatesHe attended the event, which is part of a series of forums on AI innovation planned by Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader.
In these meetings, which are held behind closed doors, lawmakers can question business leaders about the technology that has revolutionized the world since its launch. ChatGPT last year.
Europe is well underway with its own AI law, and US lawmakers are under pressure to avoid being left behind and seeing AI overwhelm society, with job losses, widespread misinformation and other consequences.
“Today we begin an enormous, complex, and vital task: building the foundations of a bipartisan policy on AI that Congress can approve,” Senator Schumer said at the meeting, according to remarks shared with the media.
“In previous situations, when things were this difficult, the natural reaction…was to ignore the problem and let someone else do the work,” he said. “But with artificial intelligence we cannot be like ostriches with our heads in the sand.” .
“I’m very optimistic about AI, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be some bumps along the way,” OpenAI’s Altman added as he entered the meeting.
The three-hour morning session covered a wide range of topics, including the risks and potential of artificial intelligence. Participants agreed that governments have a role to play in the consequences of this technology.
Service to humanity
Musk praised Schumer for providing “a service to humanity, along with the support of the rest of the Senate.” “I think something good will come out of this,” he added.
The mogul added to reporters after the meeting that unfettered AI is “potentially harmful to all humans everywhere.”
It remains unknown whether Congress will be able to pass legislation to rein in AI innovators with clear rules, given the deep political divisions in Washington and the upcoming 2024 elections.
Although both sides agree that technology can have extremely negative effects on daily life, they often disagree about possible solutions.
Technology companies are also lobbying hard to maintain a lenient regulatory system that favors companies and sustains innovation.
Some senators complained that the meeting was held in private and gave the tech giants too much room to influence lawmakers.
“This is not how it should be,” said Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican who works closely on AI issues.
The meeting was also the first known meeting between Musk and Zuckerberg, since the Tesla CEO also suggested a cage fight with his counterpart at Meta, Facebook’s parent company.
Musk also shared a room with Gates, with whom he had a strained relationship, according to a biography of the Tesla and SpaceX chief published Tuesday.