Ensuring Privacy in AI Systems Is Critical, VP Harris Says

Kamala Harris Says Now Is the Moment to Lay Groundwork for the Future of AI
Ensuring Privacy in AI Systems Is Critical, VP Harris Says
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaking at the U.S Embassy in London on Nov. 1, 2023

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris called on artificial intelligence developers to ensure consumer privacy and security, saying the moment has arrived to ensure the technology is used for good.

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Addressing an audience at the U.S. Embassy in London on Wednesday, Harris said that as AI continues to develop, it poses "profound" cybersecurity and consumer privacy risks. "I believe history will show that this was the moment when we had the opportunity to lay the groundwork for the future of AI," Harris said.

"And the urgency of this moment must then compel us to create AI systems that are used to advance human rights and human dignity, where privacy is protected and people have equal access to opportunity."

Harris arrived in London to take part in the AI Safety Summit underway in Bletchley Park in the United Kingdom. Attendees are discussing ways to prevent the misuse of emerging AI capabilities that are deemed dangerous enough to pose "severe risks to public safety." The guest list includes Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

As part of the U.S. government's commitments to ensure AI safety, especially in the field of medicine, the Biden administration will introduce a new reporting mechanism to identify unsafe use of AI, Harris said. Also, the newly unveiled U.S. AI Safety Institute will run tests and work with companies to develop video and audio tools to help consumers identify AI-generated content, she said.

Harris announced that 30 countries have joined a U.S. proposal promoting the responsible use of AI in the military, and 10 civil society agencies in the U.S. have agreed to a government proposal to protect workers' rights and advance AI transparency.

"These organizations have already made an initial commitment of $200 million in furtherance of these principles. And so today I call on more civil society organizations to join us in this effort," Harris said.

On Wednesday, the U.K. government announced that 28 countries that are attending the Safety Summit had signed the Bletchley Declaration, which calls for an urgent global consensus on managing various AI risks.

About the Author

Akshaya Asokan

Akshaya Asokan

Senior Correspondent, ISMG

Asokan is a U.K.-based senior correspondent for Information Security Media Group's global news desk. She previously worked with IDG and other publications, reporting on developments in technology, minority rights and education.

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