‘Overwhelming consensus’ on AI regulation – Musk

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  • James Clayton, North American technology journalist
  • BBC News

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See: ‘Overwhelming consensus’ to regulate AI, says Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says there is “overwhelming consensus” after tech heavyweights gathered in Washington to discuss AI for artificial intelligence regulation.

Tech bosses present at the meeting included Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google boss Sundai Pichai.

Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella were also present.

Wednesday’s meeting with US lawmakers was held behind closed doors.

The forum was hosted by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and included technology leaders as well as civil rights advocates.

The power of artificial intelligence – for both good and bad – is a topic of interest for politicians around the world.

In May, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, testified before a US Senate committee describing the potential pitfalls of the new technology.

ChatGPT and other similar programs can produce surprisingly human-like answers to questions – but they can also be wildly inaccurate.

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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Congress needs to support AI innovation and safeguards

“I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go very wrong…we want to talk about that,” Mr. Altman said. We want to work with the government to prevent this from happening, he said.

There are fears that the technology could lead to mass layoffs, turbo-charge fraud and misinformation.

AI companies have also been criticized for training their models on data scraped from the Internet without permission or payment from the creators.

In April, Mr Musk told the BBC: “I think there should be a regulatory body to oversee AI so it doesn’t put the public at risk.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, he said he wanted a “referee” for artificial intelligence.

“I think we’ll probably see something happen. I don’t know over what period or how it will manifest itself,” he told reporters later.

Mr Zuckerberg said Congress should “engage with AI to support innovation and defense”.

He added that “it’s better that American companies set the standard that can work with our government to shape these models on important issues”.

Republican Senator Mike Rounds said Congress will need time to act.

“Are we ready to go out and write laws? Absolutely not,” Mr. Rounds said. “We’re not there.”

Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat, said all participants agreed that “government has a regulatory role” but creating legislation would be a challenge.

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