President Joe Biden is currently meeting with AI experts and researchers in San Francisco on how to manage the opportunities and the risk of AI on jobs, children, bias and prejudice, and information as the government considers legal guardrails such as regulation for the fast-developing technology.

“Social media has already shown us the damage it can do” without proper safeguards, Biden said Tuesday. He said tech innovations over the next several years powered by AI will eclipse all that has been accomplished in the past several decades.

But a discussion took a bizarre, abrupt turn when the pool TV feed went dark as reporters shouted questions about Hunter Biden, the president’s son who plead guilty to federal tax offenses but avoided a full prosecution on a separate gun charge in a deal with the Justice Department that likely spares him time behind bars.

“I’m very proud of my son,” Joe Biden said before the video feed went black.

Biden met with some of Big Tech’s loudest critics, including Jim Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media; Tristan Harris, a former Google product manager and design ethicist who is executive director and co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology; and Algorithmic Justice League Founder Joy Buolamwin. Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom sat next to Biden.

Biden’s summit with AI critics comes amid a swing through California and a fundraising sweep in Silicon Valley for his 2024 reelection bid. He attended two fundraisers, including one co-hosted by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, a venture capitalist at Greylock Partners who was an early investor in Open AI, which built the popular ChatGPT app, and is co-founder of Inflection AI.

The Biden administration has made AI risks a focus of late — last year, the White House released a “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights,” outlining five principles developers should keep in mind before they release new AI-powered tools. Administration officials have also met with tech CEOs and championed efforts to “promote responsible American innovation.”

Tech companies aren’t opposed to AI safeguards. Alphabet

Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has advocated the need for responsible AI, while Microsoft
recently released a 42-page report that includes a “blueprint for the public governance of AI.” Last month, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who supports AI regulation, told members of Congress that “If this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong.”

Read more: ChatGPT’s Sam Altman: If AI goes wrong, it ‘can go quite wrong’

The government is already at various stages of antitrust investigations of Big Tech leaders Alphabet Inc., Apple Inc.
Meta Platforms Inc.
and Amazon.com Inc.


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