Actress KeKe Palmer (L) and US Vice President Kamala Harris speak onstage during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 2, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jade Thiraswas / AFP) (Photo by JADE THIRASWAS/AFP via Getty Images) Harris has been instrumental in helping set the White House’s agenda on technology and artificial intelligence.
Last month, President Biden had a meeting with experts and leaders in the field of artificial intelligence to discuss the promise and risks associated with the field in San Francisco, and Vice-President Kamala Harris had a meeting with consumer protection, labor, and civil rights leaders to discuss how to leverage the power of artificial intelligence while still protecting people from harm and bias. The White House clearly seems to be taking artificial intelligence and the potential risks it poses very seriously, but some say that even this is not enough.
AI Now Institute’s executive director Amba Kak told the Associated Press that “A closed-door deliberation with corporate actors resulting in voluntary safeguards isn’t enough,” Kak explained. “We need a much more wide-ranging public deliberation, and that’s going to bring up issues that companies almost certainly won’t voluntarily commit to because it would lead to substantively different results, ones that may more directly impact their business models.” Kak’s organization is dedicated to creating a policy strategy that addresses the lack of public accountability, consolidation of power by a few companies, and unfettered commercial surveillance in the technology industry. Therefore, it makes sense that her organization would not be in favor of closed-door meetings with companies and firms but push for more public oversight.
Inflection CEO Mustafa Suleyman pushes back on this idea a bit, as he told the Associated Press “It’s a big deal to bring all the labs together, all the companies,” Suleyman said. “This is supercompetitive and we wouldn’t come together under other circumstances.” Suleyman also said that the “red-team” tests that the companies agreed to represent a significant commitment even though they are voluntary. Essentially, “red-team” tests are hackers that the company invites in to try and exploit their systems, not unlike the ones that banks use to test their security systems. As AI is used for more things across more industries, ensuring that it is used in an equitable and fair manner is going to be something that the public talks about, as evidenced by efforts aimed at the journalism and movie industries to employ AI in ways that could erode worker rights and employment opportunities. The only way to know if the White House’s initiative on artificial intelligence and more broadly, the technology industry, will work in the ways that it wants it to, will be to see what comes out of these agreements.
Source: Black Enterprise