White House Sets its Focus on Emerging Technologies
- The White House has placed less emphasis on cryptocurrencies in recent times and has turned its focus to AI and other emerging technologies, leaving the crypto sector on the fringes.
- The Biden administration recently held a meeting with the CEOs of top AI companies to discuss the use of AI in the United States.
On Thursday, May 4, the White House unveiled the national standards strategy for important and emerging technologies. It identified eight technology fields that will have considerable economic influence in the coming years.
The eight technologies considered include communication and network technologies, artificial intelligence, semiconductors and biotechnology, digital identity infrastructure, and distributed ledger technology (DLT). The inclusion of DLT sparked excitement amongst blockchain enthusiasts, as it indicates that the administration acknowledges the potential of blockchain technology.
The national strategy anticipates that technologies like DLT and digital infrastructure will have widespread use in the economic sector. DLT comes in handy for privacy-based features and services and developing cybersecurity. The national strategy also suggests that automation and connected infrastructure, such as smart communities and the Internet of Things, are some important areas where these emerging technologies will be evaluated.
The national strategy seeks to strengthen American leadership in the creation of global standards for these modern technologies. The U.S. government is actively engaged in developing partnerships with the private sector to develop global standards for the aforementioned developing technologies.
The US considers the risks posed by AI
Top advisors to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reportedly met with a number of CEOs in the AI sector on Thursday, May 4, to discuss “concerns about the risks associated with AI.”
Some of the executives in attendance included the CEOs of OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, and AI startup Anthropic, along with nine advisors of the Biden administration in economics, policy, national security, and science. However, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was notably absent from the meeting.
The event’s primary discussions were the transparency of AI systems, the significance of assessing and confirming the safety of AI, and ensuring AI is protected from malicious users. The White House made a flurry of AI-related announcements prior to the meeting, including those relating to the funding of AI research centers, government AI policy, and the assessment of AI systems.
The government and the CEOs agreed that more work has to be done to “develop and ensure appropriate safeguards and protections” for AI. The CEOs pledged to work with the White House to ensure that Americans “benefit from AI innovation.” No specifics were provided regarding the safeguards required or the nature of the engagement with the government.
The Biden administration says it will address national security issues brought on by AI, notably cybersecurity and biosecurity. However, it offered no clarity on how it plans to achieve that.