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Prime tech executives talk about way forward for AI on Capitol Hill: NPR

Prime tech CEOs, together with Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Invoice Gates, mentioned the way forward for synthetic intelligence in a closed-door assembly with a bipartisan group of senators on Capitol Hill.

Mary Louise Kelly, host:

The elite of the tech trade gathered behind closed doorways as we speak on Capitol Hill. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Invoice Gates have been amongst greater than 20 company who mentioned AI regulation. That is Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer.

(Audio of archived recording)

Chuck Schumer: This was an incredible and historic expertise through which we discovered loads, and through which we started our quest to deal with this essential and looming subject, which is synthetic intelligence.

Kelly: The start of their quest. So the assembly is an element of a bigger focus within the US Senate on what to do about synthetic intelligence. NPR congressional correspondent Claudia Grisalis is right here to inform us what occurred as we speak. Whats up who’s there.


KELLY: So it is uncommon to see a bunch of CEOs coming collectively like this, all in Washington on Capitol Hill. What have been you considering?

GRISALES: Properly, that is an pressing second for AI as a result of there are nonetheless lots of unknowns right here. Elon Musk, the controversial CEO of Tesla and X — previously often known as Twitter — warned of “civilizational dangers” or threats to humanity, whereas others within the room spoke about defending staff or weak teams. There have been different audio system who have been extra optimistic that this might open the best way for most cancers therapy, for instance. Invoice Gates, philanthropist and former Microsoft CEO, steered that synthetic intelligence might treatment starvation, whereas others mentioned it might improve nationwide safety and protection. That is Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, telling the room that the federal government is finally liable for taking part in a regulatory function, and the US should proceed to guide on this expertise.

KELLY: We mentioned all of this was behind closed doorways as we speak. How a lot was it truly public?

GRISALES: Properly, the press was allowed into the room on the high of the assembly. And what I noticed was an extended desk of panelists, together with Musk and Zuckerberg. They usually have been sitting aside as a result of, you already know, they don’t seem to be good associates, thoughts you.

Kelly: No cage match as we speak, yeah.

GRISALES: (Laughter) Precisely. In order that they have been going through rows of benches reserved for senators to take a seat and hear. However a number of audio system shared their remarks with reporters exterior the room afterward. A kind of individuals was Liz Schuler, who heads the AFL-CIO.

(Audio of archived recording)

Liz Schuler: That was a part of my job within the room – I imply, look; We wish to be companions. We wish to be on the entrance finish of this course of in order that we do not simply implement expertise and staff have to take a seat again and luxuriate in it. It is concerning the co-creation course of. This was very properly obtained.

GRISALES: Senators described the tone of the discussions as frank, nonpartisan and vigorous.

KELLY: Properly, this all sounds promising. Have they already reached any concrete agreements?

GRISALES: Properly, Chief Schumer, who moderated the dialogue, mentioned the senators obtained consensus on some issues. He mentioned all panelists agreed that the federal government should play a task in regulating AI, and should put in place guardrails. He additionally mentioned there was consensus on balancing the federal government’s function in selling the advantages of AI and decreasing the dangers – that’s, selling transformative innovation, which once more enters discussions about serving to the hungry and sick, whereas additionally addressing sustainable innovation, or decreasing bias. Or job losses or a few of the doomsday situations that got here into the room as we speak.

KELLY: As soon as once more, I used to be struck by Senator Schumer and what he mentioned about them simply starting their quest…


KELLY: …to deal with the necessary subject of synthetic intelligence. What do they really plan to do with this data? What’s subsequent?

GRISALES: Properly, Schumer says, for his group’s half, they’ve extra boards arising, and no less than a few of them will likely be public. He mentioned they’re months away from drafting the laws. However we must always observe that Congress has a lackluster historical past of regulating rising expertise, they usually lack expertise right here. These are stunning partisan occasions. Certainly, Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy has spoken out in opposition to a few of the proposed concepts. Nevertheless, Schumer says he has been involved with McCarthy and has been inspired that there could also be a bipartisan method ahead.

KELLY: We’ll see how far this path goes. NPR’s Claudia Grisalis stories from Capitol Hill. Thanks.


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