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May 27, 2024

President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that the jury is still out on whether artificial intelligence technology is dangerous.

“That remains to be seen. It could be,” the president said Tuesday in a meeting with tech advisers.

Biden also emphasized the importance of addressing potential risks, saying he believes tech companies have a “responsibility” to make sure their products are safe before releasing them to the world.

“Social media has shown us the harm that powerful technology can do without proper safeguards. Without safeguards, we see the impact on mental health, self-image, feelings and hopelessness, especially among young people in,” he told the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or PCAST.

Biden meets expert on AI ‘risks and opportunities’

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The president also called on Congress to pass bipartisan privacy legislation that he said would impose strict limits on the personal data tech companies collect and require companies to prioritize health and safety in the products they make.

“AI can help tackle some very difficult challenges, like disease and climate change, but we must also address the underlying risks to our society, our economy and our national security,” Biden said.

Comprised of experts outside the federal government, PCAST ​​is responsible for making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the White House. It is co-chaired by Arati Prabhakar, Cabinet Director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

President Biden attends a meeting with the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Washington.

President Biden attends a meeting with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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The group included academics as well as executives from tech giants Microsoft and Google.

Last year, the Biden administration unveiled goals aimed at averting harm from the rise of artificial intelligence systems, including guidelines on how to protect people’s personal data and limit surveillance. The blueprint for the Bill of Rights does not prescribe specific enforcement actions.

President Joe Biden takes questions from reporters during a meeting with the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

President Joe Biden takes questions from reporters during a meeting with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the State Dining Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

AI has been at the forefront of national and global conversations in recent months, with companies rolling out chatbots such as OpenAI ChatGPT and Google’s Bard.

Last week Italy temporarily blocked ChatGPT over privacy concerns.

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) called on countries on Thursday to implement its global ethics framework immediately after more than 1,000 technologists requested a moratorium on training for the most powerful AI systems.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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