Biden secures 'voluntary' pledges from AI firms in attempt to manage risks

Biden secures 'voluntary' pledges from AI firms in attempt to manage risks

'This is a serious responsibility. We have to get it right,' says US president

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Joe Biden secured on Friday "voluntary commitments" from the leaders of cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) firms in a bid to harness the nascent technology and mitigate its risks.

Biden was joined at the White House by leaders from seven major tech firms, including Google, Microsoft, Inflection AI, Anthropic, Meta, OpenAI and Amazon Web Services, as he publicly laid out the pledges.

Biden said AI promises both "enormous" risks to global societies and economies, as well as "incredible opportunities."

"These seven companies have agreed to voluntary commitments for responsible innovation," Biden said, saying the pacts will be implemented "immediately."

"This is a serious responsibility. We have to get it right. And there's an enormous potential upside as well," he added.

The White House said the agreements are centered on three core principles -- safety, security and trust, and represent "a critical step toward developing responsible AI."

The firms have committed to conducting in-house and external testing of their AI products before they are released, as well as sharing information across the industry, with governments and civil society groups on how best to manage the risks posed by AI, the executive mansion said in a statement.

The companies will also invest in cybersecurity and insider threat safeguards, and enable third-party reporting on their AI systems after they are released.

A system to ensure that users can identify when content is generated by an AI akin to a watermark is also among the pledges, and tech firms are committing to research the potential societal harms posed by AI.

An executive order from Biden is also being crafted and the administration is working with Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to regulate the rapidly-evolving technology.

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