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posted by hubie on Saturday September 16, @11:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the looking-for-the-flying-pigs-now dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

The Biden administration is trying to take a paternalistic role in stewarding the development of AI for major tech firms. It’s not exactly leading from the front but is instead placing a gentle, reaffirming hand on the shoulders of big tech, telling them to be cautious and open about how they lay out the future of the transformative tech.

Some of the biggest tech firms have agreed to the White House’s voluntary commitment on ethical AI, including some companies that are already using AI to help militaries kill more effectively and to monitor citizens at home.

On Tuesday, the White House proclaimed that eight more big tech companies have accepted President Joe Biden’s guiding hand. These commitments include that companies will share safety and safeguarding information with other AI makers. They would have to share information with the public about their AI’s capability and limitations and use AI to “help address society’s greatest challenges.” Among the few tech companies to agree to the White House’s latest cooperative agreement is the defense contractor Palantir, a closed-door data analytics company known for its connections with spy agencies like the CIA and FBI as well as governments and militaries around the world.

The other seven companies to agree to the voluntary commitment include major product companies like Adobe, IBM, Nvidia, and Salesforce. In addition, several AI firms such as Cohere, Scale AI, and Stability have joined the likes of Microsoft, OpenAI, and Google in facilitating third-party testing and watermarking for their AI systems.

[...] Palantir CTO Shyam Sankar previously made comments during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that any kind of pause on AI development would mean that China could get the better of the U.S. in technological supremacy. He was adamant that the U.S. spend even more of its defense budget by investing even more money on “capabilities that will terrify our adversaries.”

Imagine the use of AI for information warfare, as Palantir CEO Alex Karp harped on during a February summit on AI-military tech. The company is already facilitating its data analytics software for battlefield targeting for the Ukrainian military, Karp reportedly said. Still, the CEO did mention that there needs to be “architecture that allows transparency on the data sources,” which should be “mandated by law.” Of course, that’s not to say Palantir has been expressly open about its own data for any of its many military contracts.

[...] So far, the Biden administration has focused on non-binding recommendations and other executive orders to try and police encroaching AI proliferation. White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zeints told Reuters the administration is “pulling every lever we have” to manage the risks of AI. Still, we’re nowhere close to seeing real AI regulation from Congress, but knowing the hand AI developers want to play in crafting any new law, there are little to no signs we’ll see real constraints placed on the development of privacy-demolishing and military-focused AI.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by looorg on Saturday September 16, @01:44PM (2 children)

    by looorg (578) on Saturday September 16, @01:44PM (#1324936)

    If all these, more or less shady or morally grey, companies are signing this, non-legally, binding pledge I think we can safely assume it's watered down and contains lots of fancy words that in the end mean about squat. I assume it's going to be the new "don't be evil" thing, but if the number after the $ is just high enough there is always wiggle room. After all lots of companies on the pledge list have done some very questionable things with data over the decades and century.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by HiThere on Saturday September 16, @01:50PM

      by HiThere (866) on Saturday September 16, @01:50PM (#1324937) Journal

      Given that Palantir is among them, I don't think they even need wiggle room. They can just be lying.

      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, @12:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17, @12:29AM (#1324989)

      Whenever a potential conspiracy has positive mathematical expectation, those in a position to execute it and reap its rewards will almost always attempt to do so. It’s called “human nature”. Beware the extremely dangerous indoctrination victim who denies this aspect of reality.

  • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday September 16, @09:30PM

    by mcgrew (701) <> on Saturday September 16, @09:30PM (#1324976) Homepage Journal

    Don't tell me you never heard of the three laws of artificial intelligen... er, robotics?

    "this trip’s a rock show." -- Captain Kelly, Journey to Madness