Executives from some of the nation’s top tech companies convened Wednesday at the U.S. Senate for a closed-door hearing on artificial intelligence, as interest in Congress to regulate the nascent technology has grown in recent months. Attendees, including Tesla Inc.
CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft Corp.
co-founder Bill Gates and Meta Platforms Inc.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, were on Capitol Hill at the behest of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, to help lawmakers understand the implications of new developments in AI.
“This meeting may go down in history as being very important for the future of civilization,” Musk said to reporters on Capitol Hill as he left the meeting. “Sen. Schumer did a service to humanity here, and I think something good may come out of this.” The Tesla CEO endorsed the creation of a new federal agency to oversee AI development “which you can think of as a referee to ensure that companies take actions that are safe and in the interest of the general public.” Musk has previously warned that the development of AI could pose an existential risk to humanity, signing an open letter in March that warned it could lead to the development of “nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us,” as well as the spread of misinformation and mass unemployment. “AI is here and here to stay,” Schumer said in opening remarks to the AI Insight Forum, which was closed to the public to promote a frank discussion. “Congress must play a role, because without Congress we will neither maximize AI’s benefits, nor minimize its risks,” he added. “This is going to be one of the hardest tasks we undertake, because AI is so complex, will impact nearly every area of life, and is evolving all the time.” Other attendees include OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Microsoft CEO Satya Nade …