Statement on Big Tech Companies’ Commitment to Voluntary AI Safeguards

For Immediate Release
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Accountable Tech Co-founder and Executive Director Nicole Gill released the following statement after news that seven major Big Tech companies, including Google and Meta, agreed to a slate of voluntary safeguards regarding AI: 

“At a moment when policymakers are racing the clock to harness the potential and curb the dangers of AI, we applaud the Biden Administration for its leadership in bringing the largest AI companies together around a set of basic voluntary safeguards.

Independent security testing, watermarks to identify AI-generated content, more transparent public reporting, and increased risk-research are important first steps. But let’s be clear: voluntary safeguards are no substitute for comprehensive executive and legislative action. The responsibility must lie with Big Tech to prove the safety of their products before they are deployed – rather than after they inflict more damage on our health, safety, and democracy.

As Accountable Tech recently called for in our public comment to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Biden Administration must keep its foot on the gas – particularly as we approach the 2024 elections.

We urge the Biden Administration to immediately address AI threats related to election mis- and disinformation, including by keenly enforcing federal statutes already on the books against voter suppression and foreign election interference. The Administration must also use the full scope of its authority to curtail AI-related harms, including by clarifying that deceptive AI ads violate the FEC’s prohibition on fraudulent misrepresentation and through the FTC’s commercial surveillance rulemaking process.

Even as we celebrate this step forward, it’s critical that policymakers remain clear-eyed and committed in their pursuit of comprehensive AI regulation. History is riddled with examples of Big Tech saying one thing and doing another – let’s ensure we don’t make the same mistake again.”

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