Elon Musk Discusses AI Regulation With Chuck Schumer
Elon Musk, Tesla and Twitter CEO told reporters he and Senator Chuck Schumer discussed “the future” during Musk’s second visit to Capitol Hill this year.
iexlusivenews reports that Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he had a “very good meeting” with Elon Musk, where discussions ranged from Tesla’s plant in Buffalo to AI.
Schumer said he previously met with the tech billionaire about a decade ago during a visit to his company SpaceX.
Schumer’s AI regulatory framework
Musk’s visit comes as Schumer has been discussing a framework that outlines a new regulatory regime for artificial intelligence.
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The recent release of ChatGPT and similar tools stoke new fears in Washington about the ways AI could harm children’s safety, amplify misinformation and disrupt elections.
Schumer’s approach to AI regulation would “deliver transparent, responsible AI while not stifling critical and cutting edge innovation”.
Musk’s concerns about AI
Musk has been among the tech leaders sounding the alarm about the risks of AI.
He called Schumer’s announcement “good news” and tweeted, “AI regulation will be far more important than it may seem today”.
“That which affects safety of the public has, over time, become regulated to ensure that companies do not cut corners,” he said.
Regulatory proposal and resistance from tech companies
Schumer’s proposal would require companies to review and test AI technologies before they are publicly released or updated.
It would also require businesses to give users access to those results, likely facing resistance from tech companies that frequently ship new algorithms and update them.
Musk’s biggest company, Tesla, issues regular “Beta” releases of its Full Self-Driving software.
Elon Musk’s own AI ambitions
Musk is entering the AI space himself with a company called X.AI, which he founded in Nevada last month.
He aims to build a product called “TruthGPT” that would serve as a counterweight to Microsoft and Google’s early dominance in the field.
“I think I will create a third option…that hopefully does more good than harm,” Musk said.
Musk’s history with AI regulation and Washington officials
Musk has long warned about perceived dangers of artificial intelligence, at one point calling it the greatest threat to civilization.
Wednesday’s meeting wasn’t the first time Musk raised the issue of AI regulation in a meeting with high-up Washington officials.
“The only one on one meeting I ever had with Obama as President I used not to promote Tesla or SpaceX, but to encourage AI regulation,” Musk said in a tweet this month.
Musk’s tensions with Schumer’s party
Musk’s visit with the top Democrat in Congress follows months of tensions with Schumer’s party. After his first six months at the helm of Twitter have cemented his reputation as a political lightning rod.
Members of Schumer’s caucus have frequently criticized Musk’s efforts to unwind Twitter’s prior leadership’s investments in content moderation and safety.
Musk’s conflicts with Schumer’s caucus
Musk sparred with Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) in November after a Washington Post columnist demonstrated how easy it was to impersonate the senator.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) criticized Musk in 2021 for polling his followers on Twitter about whether he should sell off 10% of his Tesla stock in order to avoid paying some taxes.
Wyden, who has pushed for higher taxes on billionaires, said that whether or not the world’s richest man pays any taxes at all shouldn’t depend on the results of a Twitter poll.
In response, Musk made a derogatory tweet about Wyden’s appearance.