Tesla CEO Concerned About Overwhelming Consensus for AI Regulation

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, that there was an overwhelming consensus for regulation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) after tech heavyweights gathered in Washington to discuss AI.

The closed-door meeting with US lawmakers was attended by tech bosses including Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s former CEO Bill Gates, and Microsoft’s current CEO Satya Nadella.

Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, organized the forum, which featured civil rights activists as well as tech industry leaders. The power of artificial intelligence—for both good and bad—has been the subject of keen interest from politicians around the world.

During the meeting on Wednesday, Musk stated that he needed a “referee” for artificial intelligence.

“I think we’ll probably see something happen. I don’t know on what timeframe or exactly how it will manifest itself,” he stated.

Zuckerberg focused his attention on the importance of American companies working with government entities to shape regulations around AI. He emphasised that setting standards should be a collective effort between industry leaders and policymakers.

In May 2023, the CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altam, the company behind ChatGPT, said while appearing before a US Senate committee that there are potential pitfalls to the new technology, adding that ChatGPT and other similar programmes can create incredibly human-like answers to questions; however, he noted that they can also be wildly inaccurate.

CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altam.

During the discussion, Altman stated that if the technology fails, it can be disastrous, and he wishes to be public about this.

“We want to work with the government to prevent that from happening,” he stated.

Another issue raised during the meeting was the moral use of data by AI companies. Some AI companies have been criticised for training their models on data pulled from the internet without permission or payment to the creators. This airs out important questions about privacy and intellectual property rights.

The participants agreed on the need for the government’s involvement in regulating AI, though crafting legislation presents disputes.

Senator Cory Booker in Washington DC.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker said that although all participants agreed on government’s regulatory role, developing effective legislation would require careful consideration and cooperation.

Although the path to effective legislation may be demanding, it is clear that stakeholders recognise the need for government’s involvement in shaping the future of AI.

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