Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday announced that it will be asking for help from hackers to probe artificial intelligence systems, as the White House formulates a plan of action to regulate the fast-evolving technology.
No, these aren’t the kinds of hackers stealing millions in crypto funds every year.
These are ethical hackers.
And they will participate in a so-called “hackathon” this summer at the Defcon security conference.
Thousands of participants are expected to take part in an exercise designed to explore the degree to which generate AI models like OpenAI’s chatGPT, Microsoft’s Bing, Google’s Bard and many more, align with the Biden administration’s recently announced AI Bill of Rights.
Generative AI systems will also be scrutinized to assess how they live up to the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s risk management framework that was released earlier this year.
Participants will be awarded points to incentivize them to test for a wide range of potential bugs, biases and bad behaviors.
White House Steps Up to Address AI Challenges, But Will It Be Enough?
Alongside its announcement of a generative AI-focused hackathon this summer, the White House also announced it will spend $140 million to boost AI research and development via seven new Nation AI Research Institutes.
That means the US government will now have 25 institutes working across the country to develop ethical AI that serves the public good.
The White House also announced plans to bring in new policies that govern how federal agencies use AI systems.
Speaking at an event earlier this year, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy Arati Prabhakar argued that government oversight of AI is important to ensure the technology is beneficial rather than harmful to the general public.
“If we are going to seize these opportunities we have to start by wrestling with the risks,” he noted.
But some are concerned about close cooperation between big tech companies that are leading the AI race and the government.
“We would be remiss to take an approach that leaves it to them (big tech) to lead the conversation on what constitutes trustworthy and responsible innovation,” said Sarah Myers West, managing director of the AI Now Institute.
“It’s for regulators and the broader public to define what responsible development of technology looks like,” she continued, adding that “we just can’t afford to confuse the right noises for enforceable regulation (from the government) right now”.
The White House’s announcement of a series of new measures to face up to the challenges posed by AI was issued a few hours before Vice President Kamala Harris and other officials met with the officials of OpenAI, Anthropic, Google and Microsoft to emphasize the administrations focus on ethical and responsible AI development.
White House officials have expressed concern about deepfakes and the spread of other forms of misinformation that could have negative ramifications on democracies.
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