The United States Vice President, Kamala Harris, has been appointed to lead a new artificial intelligence initiative aimed at promoting responsible, ethical, and trustworthy innovation with safeguards that mitigate risks and potential harms to individuals and society. This comes as the US government seeks to encourage AI executives to evaluate the safety and fairness of their models before deployment or making them public. Harris will meet with the CEOs of Alphabet, Anthropic, Microsoft, and OpenAI to remind them of their responsibility to ensure that their products are safe and subject to civil rights law and other protections against unlawful discrimination.
Furthermore, the White House announced the creation of seven new National AI Research Institutes, focused on climate, agriculture, energy, public health, education, and cybersecurity, and tasked with supporting the development of a diverse AI workforce. Additionally, the administration will allow the public to weigh in on government AI policy starting this summer.
While experts in the AI field have called for a moratorium on AI development until internationally agreed-upon safety measures can be put in place, the US has shied away from issuing any strong statements about the technology. However, the public evaluation of the capabilities of leading AI companies at DEFCON 31, the Las Vegas hacking convention that has previously highlighted the insecurity of US voting machines, may signal a new era of increased accountability for AI companies.
Kamala Harris has faced criticism over her performance in various roles assigned to her by President Joe Biden. In particular, her handling of the southern border immigration crisis has been a source of controversy, as illegal immigration numbers reached record highs under her watch. This has led to Harris receiving the lowest approval rating of any modern US vice president. Additionally, her appointment to develop a blueprint for addressing online harassment and disinformation has been met with skepticism, as she lacks experience in the technology sector.
Despite previous challenges, Vice President Harris is set to take on this critical role, highlighting the importance of AI innovation that is safe, ethical, and trustworthy. Critics argue that these issues are complex and require significant expertise to address effectively. It remains to be seen how successful she will be in this endeavor.
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