Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, offered remarks to the closed door Senate AI Insight Forum that sought to encourage continued American leadership in developing AI as a safe path toward providing the economic benefits of AI.
He voiced strong support for the role corporate America setting the technological standards in open source as well as private closed source AI development.
Mark Zuckerberg especially promoted the benefits of open source AI:
“…open source democratizes access to these tools, and that helps level the playing field and foster innovation for people and businesses, which I think is valuable for our economy overall.”
Zuckerberg Supports Innovation And Safeguards
One of the first things the CEO of Meta spoke about was innovation and safety.
He also reminded that AI is not just generative AI like ChatGPT.
He encouraged oversight across the different forms of AI such as robots, vision and natural language processing.
His statements conveyed that he welcomed oversight and suggested there are two issues that must be addressed:
- AI Safety
- American technological leadership
Zuckerberg promoted open source AI as a way to democratize technology.
He promoted both closed source and open source AI as a safe because companies consciously build safety alignment into their products and the collaborative nature of open source helps to identify unsafe or unwanted outcomes.
“…it’s on companies to make sure we build and deploy products responsibly.
At Meta, we’re building safeguards into our generative AI models and products from the beginning and working with others to collaborate on establishing guardrails.
We think policymakers, academics, civil society and industry should all work together to minimize the potential risks of this new technology, but also to maximize the potential benefits.
…it’s generally accepted that open source software is safer and more secure, because more people can scrutinize it to identify issues and then share and propagate solutions that can then be used to harden systems.”
But the statement that opensource software is safer and more secure is undermined by recent events.
Hugging Face recently released Falcon 180B, an open source LLM that has no safety guardrails at all, yet is so powerful that it rivals Google’s most powerful AI, Palm 2.
Hugging Face released Falcon 180B as a base version with the understanding that it’s up to the users to make it safe.
Zuckerberg’s American Leadership Agenda
Zuckerberg also promoted an American leadership vision of AI technology.
America currently leads the world in AI innovation.
The scale of of the human resources in America’s Silicon Valley companies dwarfs that of any other country.
No other country or region comes close to the scale of American innovation.
OpenAI just announced they’re opening an office in Dublin in order to cultivate a European-based AI industry, further cementing American leadership.
But Zuckerberg encouraged the idea of the United States government working together with industry in order to maintain American technological leadership and innovation.
“…I think it’s important that America continue to lead in this area and define the technical standard that the world uses.
The next leading open source model is out of Abu Dhabi, and other countries are working on this too.
I believe it’s better that the standard is set by American companies that can work with our government to shape these models on important issues.”
Mark Zuckerberg was curiously vague on what should happen once we reach the point of superintelligent AI, which alludes to Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).
AGI is a type of AI that can learn and reason like a human in a very independent manner, that can solve unfamiliar problems the way humans do, by relying on current knowledge.
There is disagreement as to how to even recognize AGI, although Sam Altman personally defines it as an AI that can innovate science that is impossible for humans.
“Now, if at some point in the future these systems get close to the level of superintelligence, then these equities will shift and we’ll reconsider this approach.”
In the end, Zuckerberg expressed a positive outlook for partnering with the government.
Although it is too early to suggest what that partnership, oversight or regulation should look like, Zuckerberg’s remarks appeared to welcome that partnership as a way to help the United States to continue holding the technology lead in artificial intelligence.
Read Mark Zuckerberg’s comments:
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