While lawmakers in the House (and soon, the Senate) call for a “blue-ribbon commission” to study the potential impacts of AI on American society, President Biden on Tuesday met with leaders in the emerging field to discuss and debate the issue directly. The President met with Tristan Harris, executive director of the Center for Human Technology; Fei-Fei Li, Co-Director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute; and Jennifer Doudna, Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, among others, at the Fairmont hotel in San Francisco.
Staying atop the growing swell of AI technology advancements in recent months and years, specifically the emergence of generative AI systems, has become a focal point for the Biden administration. Generative AI systems hold the promise to revolutionize many sectors of the economy and drastically reimagine the nature of modern office work. However, those same systems could just as likely wipe out entire professions, as the fields of digital art and journalism are now experiencing.
The White House announced a $140 million investment in May to establish seven new National AI Research Institutes and has begun investigating the technology’s use in business. As the White House chief of staff’s office told AP, top White House staff meet regularly on the subject, two to three times each week. Biden himself has reportedly met with multiple subject matter experts and technical advisors on the subject to discuss, “the importance of protecting rights and safety to ensure responsible innovation and appropriate safeguards.”