US President Joe Biden has said that artificial intelligence (AI) “could be” dangerous and technology companies should ensure that their products are safe before launching them to the public.
Speaking to science and technology advisers, Biden said AI has the potential to deal with disease and climate change, but the risks posed by the technology should also be addressed.
“Tech companies have a responsibility, in my view, to make sure their products are safe before making them public,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying during the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s (PCAST) meeting.
On being asked if AI was dangerous, Biden said: “It remains to be seen. It could be.”
The President’s comments come as businesses across the globe try to keep up with the technology and authorities push to regulate it.
The rising concern around AI was highlighted by an open letter by the Future of Life Institute, which said: “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable.”
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Open AI co-founder and Twitter CEO Elon Musk is among the 1,000 tech leaders who have signed the letter, which also called for a six-month pause on the development of AI.
Giving social media’s example, Biden highlighted the damage that powerful technology can cause if adequate safeguards are not in place.
“Absent safeguards, we see the impact on the mental health and self-images and feelings and hopelessness, especially among young people,” he added.
He also called on Congress to enact a bipartisan privacy law to place a cap on the amount of personal data that technology companies can gather, outlaw child-targeted advertising, and give health and safety top priority in product development.
The Biden administration published a “Bill of Rights” last year as a guide to ensure that consumers’ rights be upheld as technology companies create and develop AI systems.