White House hosted a meeting with the giants of the American tech industry, aimed at overseeing the development of artificial intelligence technologies on Friday, July 21. U.S. President Joe Biden believes that the biggest challenge lies in fighting fraudulent uses, such as “deepfakes”.

President Joe Biden evoked AI’s “enormous” risk and promise Friday at a White House meeting with tech leaders who committed to guarding against everything from cyber-attacks to fraud as the sector revolutionizes society.

Standing alongside top representatives from Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft and OpenAI, Biden said the cutting-edge companies had made commitments to “guide responsible innovation” as AI rips ever deeper into personal and business life.

Ahead of the meeting, the seven AI giants committed to a series of self-regulated safeguards that the White House said would “underscore three principles that must be fundamental to the future of AI: safety, security and trust.”

Although AI — in which computer programs learn to do many jobs currently performed by humans — is seen as a hugely empowering tool, it also poses potentially nightmarish risks.

In their pledge, the companies agreed to develop “robust technical mechanisms,” such as watermarking systems to ensure that users know when content is AI- and not human-generated.

Worry that imagery or audio created by artificial intelligence will be used for fraud and misinformation has ramped up as the technology improves and the 2024 presidential election gets closer. Already, supporters of Republican candidate Ron DeSantis have gotten attention by use of an artificially generated voice sounding like the party’s frontrunner Donald Trump in an attack ad.

The White House initiative demonstrates an early effort to get in front of the snowballing problem of how to regulate an industry developing faster than Congress may be able to handle.

Among the measures pledged by the seven companies ahead of the Biden meeting is agreeing to independent “internal and external security testing of their AI systems before their release” for threats to biosecurity, cybersecurity and “broader societal effects.”

Officials said that Biden is also already working on an executive order — something that has limited powers, but does not require congressional approval — on AI safety.

The White House said that it is also working with foreign allies to seek “a strong international framework to govern the development and use of AI” around the world. The topic was prominent at the G7 in Japan this May, while Britain is set to hold an international AI summit.

Malo Pinatel, with AFP