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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The US and like-minded countries, including India, must work together to shape the course of AI: Dr. Arati Prabhakar | indian news

WASHINGTON: The US and like-minded countries, including India, must work together to shape the course of AI and ensure it is used responsibly, Dr. Arati prabhakarsaid the president’s science adviser Joe Biden.

His comments on Friday came as the Biden administration tied up several IT giants like Google and Microsoft to manage the risks of new artificial intelligence tools, even as they compete for the potential of artificial intelligence (AI).
“The work we are doing includes working with companies to hold them accountable and today there is important progress on that,” Indian-American engineer Prabhakar told PTI in an interview.

“We’re also working on executive actions that we can take within existing law, and the president is considering an executive order that we think can really increase our ability to deal with the harm of AI and also start to use it for good,” he said.
She said the administration will also continue to work with Congress on the bipartisan legislation as they begin to introduce it.
“So critically and underpinning all of this is the work that we are doing globally with our international partners and allies, including India,” Prabhakar said.
Prabhakar, 64, who is serving as the 12th director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and science adviser to the president since Oct. 3, 2022, said artificial intelligence is a global technology.
“It’s everywhere. Everyone is participating and it’s really affecting, it will affect everyone’s lives and we want to make sure that like-minded countries work together to shape the course of AI,” he said in response to a question.
AI, he said, was one of the important topics of discussion when President Joe Biden met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here last month.
“I think that’s very much on the minds of our world leaders when they meet with President Biden. That is what happened with Prime Minister Modi and many others,” he said.
Prabhakar said that he had the opportunity to be at the Congress when Prime Minister Modi spoke and then at the state dinner and then again at the luncheon hosted by the Vice President and the Secretary of State.
“Artificial intelligence came up repeatedly in those conversations. In fact, the prime minister made a wonderful joke when he addressed the Congress and said that he thought AI represented the United States, India, which is another way of interpreting it,” Prabhakar said.
“But I think really the theme of a lot of the conversations that have taken place is exactly what you’re saying: we’re going to have to come together and be clear about how to make AI safe so that all of our citizens can benefit from it,” Prabhakar said.
Prabhakar, who spent half of his professional life in Silicon Valley and makes his usual home in Palo Alto, said he feels the enthusiasm for AI in Silicon Valley.
“What I would say is build amazing applications for artificial intelligence because that’s part of how we’re going to move forward and make sure while you’re at it, to build AI that’s safe and reliable so that it really lifts our spirits in the end,” he said.
On Friday, Biden announced voluntary commitments in which the administration has worked with seven leading artificial intelligence companies.
These companies include Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Goal, and some of the smaller AI companies. Several technology companies, some of the largest leaders in AI, are making some commitments on safety, security and trust.
Biden in brief remarks said, “We must be clear-eyed and vigilant about threats arising from emerging technologies that may, don’t have to, but may pose, to our democracy and our values.”
“This is a serious responsibility; we have to get it right,” he said, flanked by the company executives. “And there’s also huge, huge potential.”
Prabhakar said that it was an important step that the administration had been able to take in holding these companies to account because it is the first time that the industry is starting to come together and take responsibility.
“Then we will work on what we need to do as an executive branch, and that will include figuring out how we get by as AI makes voice cloning easier and makes fraud easier. As cybercrime becomes easier, some of this damage begins to creep in. How do we mitigate those harms within the laws and regulations we already have?” she said.
“So how do we start using AI for public purposes? How do we use it to address the climate crisis we are facing? How do we use it to improve health outcomes for everyone here in the United States and around the world? So we’re looking at both the bright and dark sides and we’re actively working on both pieces,” she said.
Describing AI as the most powerful technology of our time, he said the president has made it clear that the way it is used is going to “express his values.” But that is also true around the world.
“We know that every part of the world is trying to use AI to create a future that expresses their values. I think we can disagree on a lot of things in this country and around the world, but the one thing I think we would all agree on is that we don’t want to live in a technology-driven future shaped by authoritarian regimes,” Prabhakar said.
“That’s why I think it’s so important for like-minded countries, for democratic countries, to come together and make sure that we’re working together to use AI in ways that express our values,” said the chief US science official.
Prabhakar’s family immigrated to the United States from Delhi when she was three years old, first to Chicago and then settling when she was 10 years old in Lubbock, Texas, where she earned her electrical engineering degree from Texas Tech University.
She was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology, where she also earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering. She began her career in the legislature as a member of Congress in the Office of Technology Assessment.
Prabhakar also served as the director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 2012 to 2017.
Prabhakar was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate to head the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), assuming the helm at age 34 as the first woman to head the agency.

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