The President will discuss AI "risks and opportunities."

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President Joe Biden is to meet with the scientific advisors of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) today to discuss the "risks and opportunities" of artificial intelligence.

"The president," a White House official said in a statement to Reuters, "will discuss the importance of protecting rights and safety to ensure responsible innovation and appropriate safeguards."

The Context

While the AI industry has had an explosive few months, POTUS' decision to consult with advisors comes at a particularly transformative moment — for the industry, yes, but perhaps for human society as well.

In the last two weeks alone, a notable group of scientists and innovators, SpaceX CEO and disgruntled former OpenAI insider Elon Musk included in that group, signed a letter calling for a halt in the development of AI systems more advanced than OpenAI's GPT-4; AI-generated images of former president Donald Trump — who's having his own Big Day in the Big Apple today — went viral, perhaps bolstering his 2024 campaign's arrest-induced fundraising windfall, while an AI-generated image of a swagged out Pope Francis fooled seemingly half the internet into thinking it was real; and at least one country, Italy, has banned the use of ChatGPT indefinitely.

And that's just the last two weeks. Elsewhere, AI continues to disrupt education systems, while experts continue to warn of the proliferation of AI-generated propaganda and misinformation (warnings that have certainly been re-upped in light of those viral Trump/Pope AI-generated images.)  There's also the AI weaponry of it all, the development of which has arguably contributed to what some consider a growing arms race between the US and rivals like China.

All that said, while AI is still largely unregulated, this isn't the first time that Biden's administration has made moves to confront the burgeoning tech. Last year, the White House released what they called the "Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights," and back in March, the FTC released a statement commanding that AI bros keep their "AI claims in check."

At the end of the day, AI is a complicated technology to untangle, and it's unlikely to expect POTUS to come away from today's meeting with a perfectly clear roadmap for moving forward.

But it's probably fair to say that most experts in the field — including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman himself — agree that regulation is playing catch-up to development. Though it probably won't move the needle too far, it's positive to see POTUS having these conversations regardless.

READ MORE: Biden to discuss risks of AI in Tuesday meeting with science advisers

More on how nations are dealing with AI: Mama Mia! Italy Has Banned ChatGPT!

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