‘I am the AI’ – Biden

US President Joe Biden joked “I am the AI” on Friday as he called for regulations to govern artificial intelligence

‘I am the AI’ – Biden

The US president joked as he warned of the dangers of artificial intelligence following a meeting with Big Tech leaders

US President Joe Biden declared “I am the AI” on Friday as he called for safeguards to govern the development of artificial intelligence following a meeting with tech leaders.

In apparently unscripted remarks as he approached the podium to deliver an address, 80-year-old Biden added that “if any of you think I’m Abe Lincoln, blame it on the AI” before warning that unregulated development of technologies – such as ChatGPT – could threaten “our democracy.” 

“We must be clear-eyed and vigilant about the threats emerging technologies can pose – don’t have to – but can pose to our democracy and our values,” Biden said. His comments followed a meeting with representatives from tech companies including Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft.

The White House announced afterwards that a deal had been agreed with developers of the technology to manage potential risks posed by artificial intelligence, including independent security testing and the introduction of watermarks to clearly signal when online content has been artificially created.

Biden’s comments come amid concerns about the unfettered growth of AI and its potential impact on employment sectors and the spread of misinformation and disinformation online, particularly in the lead-in to the 2024 US presidential election.

“Companies have agreed to find ways for AI to help meet society’s greatest challenges,” Biden explained, touting the “enormous opportunities” that the technology can present. He added that the US would “work with our allies and partners on a common international framework to govern the development of AI.”

Some critics of the US government’s attempts to manage the development of AI have pointed to backlash against similar measures imposed to control ‘disinformation’ on social media, particularly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This led to accusations of a partisan slant in moderation policies on social networks.

Since its public release in November 2022, OpenAI’s ChatGPT – as well as other language models like Google Bard, which followed four months later – have signaled a new frontier in online content creation. They have also yielded existential concerns, including from Big Tech leader Elon Musk, about the long-term implications that artificial intelligence may have on society.

However, other industry leaders – including Meta president of global affairs Nick Clegg – have said that some of the more apocalyptic scenarios posed by skeptics are unfounded. “Hype has somewhat run ahead of the technology,” Clegg said this week following the launch of Meta’s open-source language model ‘Llama 2’. “In many ways, they’re quite stupid.”