Tech titans including Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates met with lawmakers Wednesday for a closed-door AI forum where the executives pitched broad regulatory frameworks for AI and warned of the existential dangers that could come with the uncontrolled advancement of the booming technology.
In opening remarks, Zuckerberg emphasized the need for safety and accessibility policies for AI but noted Meta’s regulatory approach to it would be reconsidered “if at some point in the future these systems get close to the level of superintelligence.”
Zuckerberg also called for America to lead in the AI sector, saying it was important the country defines “the technical standard that the world uses.”
Musk, who was seated away from his would-be MMA competitor in Zuckerberg, told reporters while leaving the summit that AI presents a “civilizational risk,” adding there’s a low—but not zero—chance that “AI will kill us all.”
Musk also called for a federal department of AI, an idea that has been pitched by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who told reporters Wednesday there was consensus on AI regulation but different opinions on what such regulation would look like.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) criticized the closed-door nature of the meeting and told reporters all of the senators in attendance showed up “to sit there and ask no questions.”
Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) did not attend the meeting and later criticized the tech executives, labeling them as people who’ve “done bad for our country” and are “interested parties” that stand to profit from the development of AI, according to NBC.
Unlike Europe, the U.S. has yet to gain legitimate progress on regulatory policies for AI after months of meetings between lawmakers, tech executives, academics and civil rights experts. However, Hawley and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released a bipartisan framework for AI regulation last week that requires AI companies to apply for licenses managed by an independent oversight authority, which would be able to audit the applicants under the framework’s rules.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Urges Greater AI Regulation—Including New Federal Agency—At Historic Congressional Hearing (Forbes)
Elon Musk warns of ‘civilizational risk’ posed by AI in meeting with tech CEOs and senators (NBC)
Tech leaders including Musk, Zuckerberg call for government action on AI (Washington Post)