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Biden administration investing $140M into AI research and development amid boom

The Biden administration announced on Thursday it will invest $140 million into research and development of artificial intelligence (AI) amid the current boom of the new technology.

Along with the funding, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will issue policy guidance on the use of AI by the federal government in the coming months and companies that develop AI, like Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI, have made commitments to participate in a public evaluation of AI systems.

“This is a very powerful technology and I think for federal workers in particular, it’s an opportunity to show how serving the public can be a place to lead on using AI wisely and responsibly,” a senior administration official said.

The National Science Foundation will invest the $140 million in funding to launch seven new National AI Research Institutes, bringing the total number of these institutes to 25 in the U.S. The institutes work on collaboration efforts across the federal government, industry and higher education.

“The broad implications of this new generation of AI is going to demand responsible behavior from all parties. Clearly, there will be things that we are doing and will continue to do in government but we do think that these companies have an important responsibility,” the official said.

The commitments from companies that develop AI is part of an effort to provide information for researchers and the public about AI models and figure out how the models align with the principals in the administration’s Blueprint for an AI Bill, which it recently released to mitigate the harms of automated systems.

When asked if there also need to be international standards in place for AI, senior administration officials said “we need to take one step at a time,” adding that it is a global technology and cooperation with European partners will be essential.

CEOs from Alphabet, Anthropic, Microsoft and OpenAI are heading to the White House on Thursday for a meeting on AI. Vice President Harris will lead the meeting and plans to emphasize the importance of responsible innovation and the importance of safeguards that mitigate risks and potential harms.

AI has been making waves recently and policymakers and regulators are grappling with how to tackle concerns raised by it. The fast rise of the technology is posing concerns about the risk of misinformation, scams and data collection.

On Tuesday, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill that would require political groups or campaigns to disclose the use of content created by AI in political ads. It comes in the wake of the Republican National Committee (RNC) releasing its first ad with AI-generated content following President Biden’s reelection bid announcement last week. 

Also this week, Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan pledged the agency will be vigilant in monitoring “unfair or deceptive” uses of AI it is deployed.

Source: The Hill

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