(The Atlantic) Earlier today, President Joe Biden signed the most sweeping set of regulatory principles on artificial intelligence in America to date: a lengthy executive order that directs all types of government agencies to make sure America is leading the way in developing the technology while also addressing the many dangers that it poses. The order explicitly pushes agencies to establish rules and guidelines, write reports, and create funding and research initiatives for AI—“the most consequential technology of our time,” in the president’s own words.
The scope of the order is impressive, especially given that the generative-AI boom began just about a year ago. But the document’s many parts—and there are many—are at times in tension, revealing a broader confusion over what, exactly, America’s primary attitude toward AI should be: Is it a threat to national security, or a just society? Is it a geopolitical weapon? Is it a way to help people?
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