Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk met with congressional members to discuss the need for regulating artificial intelligence (AI) as companies increasingly adopt the technology in their operations.
The talks come as numerous companies race to incorporate AI systems into their consumer products and internal business solutions, with leading corporations and venture capital firms investing substantial funds in AI development.
Following his meeting with lawmakers, Musk took to social media to argue that regulating AI is necessary to safeguard the public from potential harm arising from this emerging technology.
He stated, "That which affects the safety of the public has, over time, become regulated to ensure that companies do not cut corners. AI has great power to do good and evil. Better the former."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who participated in the discussions with Musk, recently unveiled a proposed regulatory framework to address concerns surrounding AI technology, particularly as generative language systems like ChatGPT fuel a competitive race in the tech sector.
The comprehensive framework aims to "increase transparency, responsibility, and accountability" for AI systems while "reducing the potential for misuse" and curbing "misinformation and bias." Musk welcomed Schumer's proposal, noting, "Good news. AI regulation will be far more important than it may seem today."
Tech companies, despite facing economic challenges, view mass-market AI as a potential boon amid surging demand for such systems among knowledge workers.
Microsoft, which invested billions into ChatGPT creator OpenAI, announced plans to integrate the system into its search engine Bing and internet browser Edge, enabling users to more easily access information. Meanwhile, Google revealed that its experimental conversational AI service, Bard, would soon be incorporated into the company's search engine.
Musk, an OpenAI co-founder who later resigned from the company's board of directors, recently joined hundreds of other tech leaders in signing an open letter calling for a six-month moratorium on the development of AI solutions more powerful than GPT-4.
The letter emphasized that "powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable," adding that "this confidence must be well justified and increase with the magnitude of a system's potential effects."
However, some tech experts have argued that the concerns raised by Musk and others are overstated and point out that adversarial nations like China will not halt their AI development efforts. In his call for AI regulation, Schumer acknowledged that any such policy framework must allow American researchers to compete with their Chinese counterparts.
Last week, Musk disclosed that he had used his only one-on-one meeting with former President Barack Obama to warn about the dangers of AI and advocate for the technology's regulation. On social media, he commented that he anticipated the current AI advancements "well before GPT-1" and had been "trying to warn the public for years."