AI Summit: Mark Zuckerberg says do not hamper innovation; Musk warns of risk

The much-talked-about AI Summit called the AI Insight Forum has concluded in Washington, DC, US. The session was hosted by Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and he invited prominent tech leaders in the US who were actively working with artificial intelligence. The purpose of this summit was to understand the perspective of the market before the government finalizes regulations in the space of AI. While the forum was held behind closed doors and there was no coverage of the event, some leaders spoke to the media or left remarks afterwards. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk were among those who gave statements.

Some of the biggest names to participate included Zuckerberg, Musk, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Nvidia president Jensen Huang, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and more.

Zuckerberg posted his prepared remarks on the AI Summit on his Meta blog and said, “While the conversation is mostly focused on generative AI right now, we shouldn’t lose sight of the broader progress across computer vision, natural language processing, robotics, and more, which will also impact society. So we welcome thoughtful engagement here to help secure the best possible outcomes for people”.

He also highlighted two defining issues for AI. Explaining the first, he said, “The first is safety. New technology often brings new challenges, and it’s on companies to make sure we build and deploy products responsibly. At Meta, we’re building safeguards into our generative AI models and products from the beginning and working with others to collaborate on establishing guardrails. And we’re going to be deliberate about how we roll out these products”.

“The other major issue is access. Having access to state-of-the-art AI is going to be an increasingly important driver of opportunity in the future, and I think that’s going to be true for individual people, for companies, and for economies as a whole,” he added.

But he also urged against over-regulating the space and reducing the innovation that is leading the development of AI. He said, “We think policymakers, academics, civil society and industry should all work together to minimize the potential risks of this new technology, but also to maximize the potential benefits. If you believe this generation of AI tools is a meaningful step forward, then it’s important not to undervalue the potential upside”.

Elon Musk on AI Summit

While Musk did not leave any remarks, he did speak with the press after the event. Calling the meeting a service to humanity, Musk emphasized the need for a referee, indicating that regulations are important in the AI domain.

“The consequences of AI going wrong are severe so we have to be proactive rather than reactive,” NBC News quoted Musk as saying. He further added, “The question is really one of civilizational risk. It’s not like … one group of humans versus another. It’s like, hey, this is something that’s potentially risky for all humans everywhere”.

On the question of whether AI can destroy humanity, Musk said, “There is some chance that is above zero that AI will kill us all. I think it’s low. But if there’s some chance, I think we should also consider the fragility of human civilization”.

Meanwhile, Schumer reported to the media that there was some consensus reached during the summit. He said, “We got some consensus on some things…I asked everyone in the room does government need to play a role in regulating AI, and every single person raised their hand, even though they had diverse views. So that gives us a message here that we have to try to act, as difficult as the process might be”.

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