White House announces AI safety commitments with Big Tech
The White House and seven prominent tech firms including Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft have agreed on voluntary commitments to ensure safe AI technology development.
The US government warned in its press release that AI companies have a responsibility to ensure safety to ensure that “innovation doesn’t come at the expense of Americans’ rights and safety”.
The seven firms – Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft, and OpenAI – have all pledged to three commitments:
Firstly, to ensure products are safe before introducing them to the public.
“That means testing the capabilities of their systems, assessing their potential risk, and making the results of these assessments public,” President Joe Biden said in his statement.
Secondly, companies are to prioritise the security of their systems by safeguarding their models against cyber threats and managing the risks to US national security.
Thirdly, the companies “have a duty to earn the people’s trust and empower users to make informed decisions,” explained Biden.
With this, companies should label content that has been altered or AI-generated, rooting out bias and discrimination, strengthening privacy protections, and shielding children from harm.
They have also agreed to develop ways for AI to help meet societal challenges such as helping in the medical field with diseases such as cancer, helping with climate change, and investing in education and new jobs.
Earlier this month, the secretary-general of the UN’s International Telecommunication Union called on AI firms to help tackle climate change and other global issues.
The secretary-general stressed that AI was a necessity in order to help the UN reach its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals which include combatting inequalities, ending poverty and hunger, and creating lasting protection of the planet.
“AI development will not wait, the Sustainable Development Goals will not wait, and failure is not an option,” she said in her keynote speech.
Microsoft is one firm agreeing to the White House’s voluntary commitments that already has many ongoing AI projects contributing to tackling global concerns.
Its projects include using the technology to monitor deforestation, identifying homes that are at risk of overheating while global temperatures rise, and detecting diseases such as diabetes.
Joining the conversation in June, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he wants to “make the UK not just the intellectual home but the geographical home of global AI safety regulation.”
He added that the UK will be playing host to a global summit on AI safety this autumn.
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