The Biden administration is silent about whether it has concern over the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) or whether it believes it should be federally regulated as both Democrat and Republican lawmakers, as well as some tech moguls, urge government intervention.
When reached for comment about the issue on Wednesday morning, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre referred Fox News Digital to the National Security Council (NSC), which serves as Biden’s “principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his or her senior advisors and cabinet officials.”
Despite signaling that it would respond rapidly to Fox News’s request, after more than 24 hours, the NSC did not provide comment on Biden administration’s reaction to the call for an AI development moratorium.
The White House’s silence amid the rise in AI comes after a letter signed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and other tech giants cited “profound risks to society and humanity” and called for a six-month pause to advanced AI developments. If
ELON MUSK, APPLE CO-FOUNDER, OTHER TECH EXPERTS CALL FOR PAUSE ON ‘GIANT AI EXPERIMENTS’: ‘DANGEROUS RACE’
The letter asked AI developers to “immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.” If the moratorium cannot be done quickly, “governments should step in and institute a moratorium,” the letter added.
The letter was issued by the Future of Life Institute and signed by more than 1,000 people, including Musk, who argued that safety protocols need to be developed by independent overseers to guide the future of AI systems. GPT-4 is the latest deep learning model from OpenAI, which “exhibits human-level performance on various professional and academic benchmarks,” according to the lab.
“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” the letter said.
Since its release last year, Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT has prompted rivals to accelerate developing similar large language models and companies to integrate generative AI models into their products.
The letter warned that at this stage, no one “can understand, predict, or reliably control” the powerful new tools developed in AI labs. The undersigned tech experts cite the risks of propaganda and lies spread through AI-generated articles that look real, and even the possibility that Ai programs can outperform workers and make jobs obsolete.
AI EXPERTS WEIGH DANGERS, BENEFITS OF CHATGPT ON HUMANS, JOBS AND INFORMATION: ‘DYSTOPIAN WORLD’
The signatories, which include Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque, researchers at Alphabet-owned DeepMind, as well as AI heavyweights Yoshua Bengio and Stuart Russell, emphasize that AI development in general should be not paused, writing that their letter is calling for “merely a stepping back from the dangerous race to ever-larger unpredictable black-box models with emergent capabilities.”
Despite the relative silence from the White House over potentially disruptive developments in AI, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in the 118th Congress appear to be finding common ground in calling for oversight of the burgeoning technology.
“I think what you have to do is, to identify what is not allowed in terms of ethics and illegal activities, whether it is AI or not — you impose on AI activities the same level of ethics and privacy that you do for other competencies today,” GOP Sen. Mike Rounds, a leader of the Senate AI Caucus, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday.
Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., pointed out that the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, which he chairs, recently held a hearing on the “pros and cons” of AI technology.
“I intend to have a series of hearings in Homeland Security and Government Affairs taking up AI and what we should be thinking about,” Peters said.
DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS COALESCE AROUND CALLS TO REGULATE AI DEVELOPMENT: ‘CONGRESS HAS TO ENGAGE’
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who sent a letter to tech company leaders last week calling for them to consider the safety of children when rolling out AI systems such as chatbots, suggested that an agency could be created to regulate the relatively restriction-free AI industry “in the long term.” For now, however, the senator said these companies have to police themselves.
“I think we do have a role to play,” he said when asked if Congress should step in to regulate AI. “In the long run, I think what we could do is set up, you know, an agency here. They can negotiate on behalf of the American people, so we can actually have a negotiation about privacy… In the near term, I think it’s going to be important for tech to police itself.”
Over on the House side, Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., a leader in the efforts to crack down on Big Tech, also urged Congress to take the reins.
“With the emergence of AI comes both opportunity and challenges. We have seen the impact and consequences of a decade of inaction on Big Tech. Congress cannot afford to be caught sleeping at the wheel again. AI has great promise but left unscrutinized could be used to spread propaganda, dangerously restructure our economy, and increase the size of current Big Tech monopolies,” Buck told Fox News Digital.
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On the other hand, Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, believes it is too early for Congressional intervention in the AI world.
“It’s way too early to say what role Congress should take. I think right now, we need to understand this a little bit better. And, you know — look, we’re in the very early days of this process,” Vance said. “So I wouldn’t want to commit to a congressional strategy before we even understand the problem.”
Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo and Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this article.