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Address risks: leading AI companies join safety consortium

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The announcement of the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC) was made by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Raimondo emphasized the role of the U.S. government in establishing standards and tools to manage the risks and leverage the vast potential of artificial intelligence, as reported by Reuters.

Members of the Consortium

Reuters revealed the roster of consortium members, including prominent companies like BP, Cisco Systems, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Northrop Grumman, Mastercard, Qualcomm, Visa, as well as major academic institutions and government agencies. These entities will be part of the U.S. AI Safety Institute (USAISI).

The consortium’s focus is in line with the directives outlined in President Biden’s executive order, which involve activities such as creating guidelines for identifying new risks, conducting capability assessments, managing risks, ensuring safety and security, and watermarking synthetic content.

Executive Order by President Biden

In a recent executive order on October 30, 2024, President Joe Biden expressed his intention to minimize the risks posed by AI to consumers, workers, minority groups, and national security. According to the order, creators of AI systems that jeopardize national security, the economy, health, or safety of the United States must notify the U.S. government of their safety evaluations before releasing their products to the public.

Furthermore, the order mandates agencies to set up testing guidelines to address risks related to cybersecurity, radiological, chemical, and biological hazards. Biden stressed the importance of governing AI technology, noting that in the wrong hands, it could facilitate hackers in exploiting software vulnerabilities that are critical to society’s operations.

The Commerce Department stated in December 2024 that it had initiated steps to establish crucial standards and guidance for the safe testing and deployment of AI. The consortium is also the largest collective of test and evaluation teams, leading the way in establishing a new benchmark for AI safety.

Generative AI has created a mix of excitement and apprehension due to its capability to generate text, images, and videos based on open cues, potentially replacing human labor in some professions, impacting elections, and causing severe repercussions.

Although the Biden administration is taking steps to implement safeguards, specific legislation addressing AI has yet to be passed by Congress despite numerous high-level discussions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Michelangelo Buonarroti; Pexels

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