Elon Musk Torches Kamala Harris After Biden Admin Reveals VP's Ridiculous New 'Czar' Role
On Thursday, the Biden administration announced a new effort to promote “responsible artificial intelligence” innovation and added that Vice President Kamala Harris would head the effort. But the announcement only brought bemused guffaws from tech giants including Elon Musk.
Amid growing warnings from futurists and critics who warn that artificial intelligence, or machine learning, has the capacity to harm mankind, the White House announced “new actions that will further promote responsible American innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) and protect people’s rights and safety.”
In a press release posted to the White House website, Biden said, “These steps build on the Administration’s strong record of leadership to ensure technology improves the lives of the American people, and break new ground in the federal government’s ongoing effort to advance a cohesive and comprehensive approach to AI-related risks and opportunities.”
“AI is one of the most powerful technologies of our time, but in order to seize the opportunities it presents, we must first mitigate its risks,” the press release added. “President Biden has been clear that when it comes to AI, we must place people and communities at the center by supporting responsible innovation that serves the public good, while protecting our society, security, and economy. Importantly, this means that companies have a fundamental responsibility to make sure their products are safe before they are deployed or made public.”
In pursuit of this new initiative, and as so many companies begin a headlong drive to develop AI, Biden is directing Vice President Harris to begin the process of setting up this campaign.
“Vice President Harris and senior Administration officials will meet today with CEOs of four American companies at the forefront of AI innovation — Alphabet, Anthropic, Microsoft, and OpenAI — to underscore this responsibility and emphasize the importance of driving responsible, trustworthy, and ethical innovation with safeguards that mitigate risks and potential harms to individuals and our society. The meeting is part of a broader, ongoing effort to engage with advocates, companies, researchers, civil rights organizations, not-for-profit organizations, communities, international partners, and others on critical AI issues,” the press releases insisted.
Biden also signed yet another Executive Order, this time to direct federal agencies to “root out bias” in the design and use of AI technology. Of course, by “root out bias” he means increasing bias in service to his racial equity campaign, not eliminating it.
As noted, Harris was tapped to lead the containment effort as the White House’s “AI czar” with a budget of $140 million. Though it is not clear if this new effort will impact the Pentagon’s AI plans.
In a statement, the vice president said, “As I shared today with CEOs of companies at the forefront of American AI innovation, the private sector has an ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their products.
“And every company must comply with existing laws to protect the American people. I look forward to the follow through and follow up in the weeks to come,” Harris’ statement continued.
As the Daily Mail added, tech giants, including Elon Musk, have warned about the possible pitfalls of AI.
“Tech giants like Elon Musk fear AI will soon surpass human intelligence and have independent thinking. This means it would no longer need or listen to humans, allowing it to steal nuclear codes, create pandemics and spark world wars.” the outlet noted.
Still, the Biden administration’s AI announcement was not met with much approval.
Twitter user Amjad Masad, who is also a computer engineer and tech entrepreneur, reacted to the news and scoffed at the effort, especially the bit about Harris being the project’s “AI czar.”
Did @elonmusk think they’re going to revive Von Neumann and have him head AI regulation? You get what you ask for, good and hard. pic.twitter.com/VOG0pLU781
— Amjad Masad ⠕ (@amasad) May 7, 2023
By “Von Neumann,” Masad was referencing mathematician John Von Neumann, who is sometimes thought of as the “father of AI” for his brilliant theories in applied mathematics and his invention of the concepts behind computer memory systems, including Radom Access Memory, or RAM, and the ideas behind the computer hard drive.
Elon saw Masad’s tweet and responded, saying, “Von Neumann … would obviously be a bridge too far, but maybe someone who can fix their own wifi router wouldn’t be too much to ask.”
Von Neumann … would obviously be a bridge too far, but maybe someone who can fix their own wifi router wouldn’t be too much to ask
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2023
Musk’s little tech joke is 100 percent right, though. Harris is not qualified in any way, shape, or form to oversee questions about the dangers and development of AI technologies. Indeed, she has been a crashing failure in all the other “czar” positions that Biden has handed her. How will this be any different?
Amjad Masad and Elon Musk are right. This whole White House initiative is a joke and is just more waste of the taxpayer’s dollars.
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