OAN’s Shawntel Smith-Hill
12:52 PM – Friday, July 21, 2023
The White House announced on Friday that several large United States tech companies, including Amazon, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, have voluntarily agreed to a set of safeguards that hope to mitigate the risk of artificial intelligence (AI).
President Joe Biden that the new commitments by the companies are an important step towards managing the “enormous” promises and risks that come with AI technology.
The commitments from the companies are meant to ensure that the AI products they release are safe. Some of the commitments allegedly call for third-party oversight of the workings of commercial AI systems, though details on who will hold the companies accountable and audit the technology are currently unknown.
“We must be clear eyed and vigilant about the threats emerging technologies can pose,” Biden said, adding that the companies have a “fundamental obligation” to ensure their products are safe.
“Social media has shown us the harm that powerful technology can do without the right safeguards in place,” Biden added. “These commitments are a promising step, but we have a lot more work to do together.”
The tech firms have pledged to increase transparency between themselves and governments as well as conduct research on how they are managing the risks of AI.
Top officials from several of the tech firms have agreed to meet with President Biden at the White House on Friday.
Some of the companies have also committed to implementing methods of reporting vulnerabilities in their AI systems as well as “watermarking” mechanisms that will inform users when content has been AI-generated in order to help tell the difference between AI-deep fakes and real images.
Advocates for increased AI regulation say the President’s move to secure these commitments is a start, but more needs to be done in order to ensure the companies are held accountable for their products.
James Steyer, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Common Sense Media, said in a statement, “History would indicate that many tech companies do not actually walk the walk on a voluntary pledge to act responsibly and support strong regulations.”
Despite these concerns, some tech company officials have stepped up to reaffirm their commitment to Biden’s AI safeguards and even go beyond. President of Microsoft Brad Smith said in a blog post that his company would follow through with the White House pledge and support regulation that would help to build a “licensing regime for highly capable models.”
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