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posted by janrinok on Sunday September 17 2023, @04:13PM   Printer-friendly

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2023/09/private-ai-summit-with-senate-titans-of-tech-garners-controversy/

On Wednesday, US Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) hosted an "AI Insight Forum" in the Senate's office building about potential AI regulation. Attendees included billionaires and modern-day industry titans such as Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, OpenAI's Sam Altman, and Jensen Huang of Nvidia. But this heavily corporate guest list—with 14 out of 22 being CEOs—had some scratching their heads.

"This is the room you pull together when your staffers want pictures with tech industry AI celebrities. It's not the room you'd assemble when you want to better understand what AI is, how (and for whom) it functions, and what to do about it," wrote Signal President Meredith Whittaker on X.

Tech Industry Leaders Endorse Regulating Artificial Intelligence at Rare Summit in Washington:

The nation's biggest technology executives on Wednesday loosely endorsed the idea of government regulations for artificial intelligence at an unusual closed-door meeting in the U.S. Senate. But there is little consensus on what regulation would look like, and the political path for legislation is difficult.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who organized the private forum on Capitol Hill as part of a push to legislate artificial intelligence, said he asked everyone in the room — including almost two dozen tech executives, advocates and skeptics — whether government should have a role in the oversight of artificial intelligence, and "every single person raised their hands, even though they had diverse views," he said.

Among the ideas discussed was whether there should be an independent agency to oversee certain aspects of the rapidly-developing technology, how companies could be more transparent and how the United States can stay ahead of China and other countries.

"The key point was really that it's important for us to have a referee," said Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and X, during a break in the daylong forum. "It was a very civilized discussion, actually, among some of the smartest people in the world."

Schumer will not necessarily take the tech executives' advice as he works with colleagues on the politically difficult task of ensuring some oversight of the burgeoning sector. But he invited them to the meeting in hopes that they would give senators some realistic direction for meaningful regulation.

Congress should do what it can to maximize AI's benefits and minimize the negatives, Schumer said, "whether that's enshrining bias, or the loss of jobs, or even the kind of doomsday scenarios that were mentioned in the room. And only government can be there to put in guardrails."

Other executives attending the meeting were Meta's Mark Zuckerberg, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Musk said the meeting "might go down in history as being very important for the future of civilization."

First, though, lawmakers have to agree on whether to regulate, and how.

Congress has a lackluster track record when it comes to regulating new technology, and the industry has grown mostly unchecked by government in the past several decades. Many lawmakers point to the failure to pass any legislation surrounding social media, such as for stricter privacy standards.

Schumer, who has made AI one of his top issues as leader, said regulation of artificial intelligence will be "one of the most difficult issues we can ever take on," and he listed some of the reasons why: It's technically complicated, it keeps changing and it "has such a wide, broad effect across the whole world," he said.

Sparked by the release of ChatGPT less than a year ago, businesses have been clamoring to apply new generative AI tools that can compose human-like passages of text, program computer code and create novel images, audio and video. The hype over such tools has accelerated worries over its potential societal harms and prompted calls for more transparency in how the data behind the new products is collected and used.

Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, who led the meeting with Schumer, said Congress needs to get ahead of fast-moving AI by making sure it continues to develop "on the positive side" while also taking care of potential issues surrounding data transparency and privacy.

"AI is not going away, and it can do some really good things or it can be a real challenge," Rounds said.

The tech leaders and others outlined their views at the meeting, with each participant getting three minutes to speak on a topic of their choosing. Schumer and Rounds then led a group discussion.

During the discussion, according to attendees who spoke about it, Musk and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt raised existential risks posed by AI, and Zuckerberg brought up the question of closed vs. "open source" AI models. Gates talked about feeding the hungry. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna expressed opposition to proposals favored by other companies that would require licenses.

In terms of a potential new agency for regulation, "that is one of the biggest questions we have to answer and that we will continue to discuss," Schumer said. Musk said afterward he thinks the creation of a regulatory agency is likely.

Outside the meeting, Google CEO Pichai declined to give details about specifics but generally endorsed the idea of Washington involvement.

"I think it's important that government plays a role, both on the innovation side and building the right safeguards, and I thought it was a productive discussion," he said.

Some senators were critical that the public was shut out of the meeting, arguing that the tech executives should testify in public.

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said he would not attend what he said was a "giant cocktail party for big tech." Hawley has introduced legislation with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., to require tech companies to seek licenses for high-risk AI systems.

"I don't know why we would invite all the biggest monopolists in the world to come and give Congress tips on how to help them make more money and then close it to the public," Hawley said.

While civil rights and labor groups were also represented at the meeting, some experts worried that Schumer's event risked emphasizing the concerns of big firms over everyone else.

Sarah Myers West, managing director of the nonprofit AI Now Institute, estimated that the combined net worth of the room Wednesday was $550 billion and it was "hard to envision a room like that in any way meaningfully representing the interests of the broader public." She did not attend.

In the United States, major tech companies have expressed support for AI regulations, though they don't necessarily agree on what that means. Similarly, members of Congress agree that legislation is needed, but there is little consensus on what to do.

There is also division, with some members of Congress worrying more about overregulation of the industry while others are concerned more about the potential risks. Those differences often fall along party lines.


Original Submission

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Tyler Perry Puts $800 Million Studio Expansion on Hold Because of OpenAI's Sora 16 comments

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2024/02/i-just-dont-see-how-we-survive-tyler-perry-issues-hollywood-warning-over-ai-video-tech/

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Thursday, filmmaker Tyler Perry spoke about his concerns related to the impact of AI video synthesis on entertainment industry jobs. In particular, he revealed that he has suspended a planned $800 million expansion of his production studio after seeing what OpenAI's recently announced AI video generator Sora can do.

"I have been watching AI very closely," Perry said in the interview. "I was in the middle of, and have been planning for the last four years... an $800 million expansion at the studio, which would've increased the backlot a tremendous size—we were adding 12 more soundstages. All of that is currently and indefinitely on hold because of Sora and what I'm seeing. I had gotten word over the last year or so that this was coming, but I had no idea until I saw recently the demonstrations of what it's able to do. It's shocking to me."

[...] "It makes me worry so much about all of the people in the business," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "Because as I was looking at it, I immediately started thinking of everyone in the industry who would be affected by this, including actors and grip and electric and transportation and sound and editors, and looking at this, I'm thinking this will touch every corner of our industry."

You can read the full interview at The Hollywood Reporter

[...] Perry also looks beyond Hollywood and says that it's not just filmmaking that needs to be on alert, and he calls for government action to help retain human employment in the age of AI. "If you look at it across the world, how it's changing so quickly, I'm hoping that there's a whole government approach to help everyone be able to sustain."

Previously on SoylentNews:
OpenAI Teases a New Generative Video Model Called Sora - 20240222

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday September 17 2023, @04:30PM (5 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday September 17 2023, @04:30PM (#1325068)

    Congress has a lackluster track record when it comes to regulating new technology

    That's a very polite way of saying most congresscritters are the best money can buy, and the money comes from Silicon Valley.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by canopic jug on Sunday September 17 2023, @04:39PM

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 17 2023, @04:39PM (#1325069) Journal

      Is that the same Schumer who has accepted over $127K USD from Microsofters [opensecrets.org] in 2022 alone and, pure coincidence, subsequently put Microsofters or Microsoft affiliates in 20 of the 22 seats on the AI advisory committee?

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by sigterm on Sunday September 17 2023, @05:38PM (1 child)

      by sigterm (849) on Sunday September 17 2023, @05:38PM (#1325073)

      Now, now. That's painting them with a very broad brush.

      We should acknowledge that while a significant number of senators are indeed taking money from the tech industry, there are others that don't. They get paid by big pharma, oil companies, and/or the entertainment industry instead.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17 2023, @09:09PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 17 2023, @09:09PM (#1325085)

        Now, now. There's no need to be so un-inclusive.
        They can all take money from many industries.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Sunday September 17 2023, @06:42PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday September 17 2023, @06:42PM (#1325075)

      When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

      Care to bet how many corporations are willing to "internally interpret the regulations as not applicable to our confidential, trade secret, proprietary internal systems" ?

      Further, any regulations passed by Congress against the public sector are no-doubt intended in some part to give military / national security developments time to catch up.

      Further to that, any middle class suburban high school dropout with a $10K NVIDIA rig instead of the $20K used car dad would have bought zim if ze stayed in school has the tools to develop some pretty potent systems already, and absolutely no moral compass to guide zim, especially not laws which ze is sure can't be enforced on zim.

      Suppressing the open source repositories and how-to guides is a joke, the genie was out of the bottle 10, even 30 years ago, everything since then has just been logical continuation of concepts widely published and well understood in introductory courses around the world. Making it a "black art" will only shape the practitioners pool to a slightly smaller set with a significantly more misaligned moral compass.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday September 18 2023, @01:56PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday September 18 2023, @01:56PM (#1325179) Journal

      Wow, must have some pretty bad choices.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 2, Flamebait) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday September 17 2023, @04:43PM (1 child)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday September 17 2023, @04:43PM (#1325070)

    So Fuckerberg and Musk were supposed to settle their differences like the idiot men they are [washingtonpost.com], and here they found themselves together in the same room and nothing happened.

    Typical... All talk and no walk. I didn't really believe either of them would follow through.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by janrinok on Sunday September 17 2023, @05:08PM (1 child)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday September 17 2023, @05:08PM (#1325072) Journal

    and Zuckerberg brought up the question of closed vs. "open source" AI models. [...]. IBM CEO Arvind Krishna expressed opposition to proposals favored by other companies that would require licenses.

    So rather than compete against open source they would rather it whole system require licenses which, I'm guessing for some reason or other, will not be availble to open source AI.

    --
    I am not interested in who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18 2023, @12:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18 2023, @12:25AM (#1325106)
      Do you see anyone on that list of 22 participants who is not from or otherwise affiliated with Microsoft, aside from one non-tech "token"?
  • (Score: 2) by DadaDoofy on Monday September 18 2023, @01:24PM

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Monday September 18 2023, @01:24PM (#1325171)

    "This is the room you pull together when your staffers want pictures with tech industry AI celebrities. It's not the room you'd assemble when you want to better understand what AI is, how (and for whom) it functions, and what to do about it," wrote Signal President Meredith Whittaker on X."

    Which is exactly what you would expect of anything organized by Chuck Schumer.

    If the government "regulates" AI, it simply means the government will force the purveyors of AI to train it with government approved models. It will be justified by the same tired tropes - "hate speech", "mis/disinformation", "the children", "equity", "inclusion" and all the other supposed justifications for ignoring the first amendment. Sadly, this will render AI useless for anything other than another mouthpiece for same things we are already fed through social/traditional media, public education and popular culture.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18 2023, @05:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 18 2023, @05:03PM (#1325199)

    "Industry leaders" are looking for control, to protect their own interests. The only regulation needed is that to prevent monopolization, to keep the market open to everybody, not just "industry leaders".

    Great takeaways in the summary:

    Some senators were critical that the public was shut out of the meeting, arguing that the tech executives should testify in public.

    "giant cocktail party for big tech."

    "I don't know why we would invite all the biggest monopolists in the world to come and give Congress tips on how to help them make more money and then close it to the public,"

    Schumer's event risked emphasizing the concerns of big firms over everyone else.

    So, once again we have the democrats committing more self sabotage and making the republicans look good. Gotta vote them all out!

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