AP and Reuters

US Vice President Harris to call for action on threats from AI


U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during an event about the President signing an Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 30, 2023. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will call on Wednesday for urgent action to protect the public from the threats posed by artificial intelligence as she announces a series of new initiatives to address safety concerns about the technology.

In a speech in London, Harris will discuss the dangers from artificial intelligence, such as cyber-attacks or bioweapons, and will announce that the United States will establish a new AI Safety Institute, which will assess potential risks.

The timing of her speech has raised eyebrows among some in the governing Conservative Party who suggest Washington is trying to overshadow Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s AI Security Summit which takes place on Wednesday and Thursday – a charge denied by British officials who say they want more voices.

Harris will say AI has the potential to create “cyberattacks at a scale beyond anything we have seen before to AI-formulated bioweapons that could endanger the lives of millions”.

“The urgency of this moment must compel us to create a collective vision of what this future must be,” she will say, according to extracts of her speech released by her office.

Harris is in Britain to attend London’s summit on artificial intelligence, where world and tech leaders will discuss the future of the technology.

Her speech comes after U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday to give the U.S. government greater oversight of AI systems that could pose risks to national security, the economy, public health or safety.

The new U.S. AI Safety Institute will share information and collaborate on research with peer institutions internationally, including Britain’s planned AI Safety Institute.

Harris will also say that 30 countries have agreed to sign a U.S.-sponsored political declaration for the use of AI by national militaries.

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