Musk Meets With Lawmakers To Discuss AI: ‘Great Power To Do Good And Evil’
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 24: Tesla CEO Elon Musk leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building on January 24, 2023 in San Francisco, California. Musk testified at a trial regarding a lawsuit that has investors suing Tesla and Musk over his August 2018 tweets saying he was taking Tesla private with funding that he had secured. The tweet was found to be false and cost shareholders billions of dollars when Tesla's stock price began to fluctuate wildly allegedly based on the tweet.
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Elon Musk met with members of Congress on Wednesday to discuss the possibility of regulating artificial intelligence as many companies rush to incorporate the systems into their operations.

Leading corporations and venture capital firms have poured considerable funds into developing AI tools meant for consumer products and internal business solutions. Musk contended on social media after his discussion with lawmakers that regulations would protect the population from possible harmful effects of the nascent technology.

“That which affects safety of the public has, over time, become regulated to ensure that companies do not cut corners,” the billionaire entrepreneur commented. “AI has great power to do good and evil. Better the former.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who took part in the discussion with Musk, recently unveiled possible steps to regulate AI as generative language systems such as ChatGPT induce a development race in the technology sector. The broad regulatory framework will attempt to “increase transparency, responsibility, and accountability” for AI systems while “reducing the potential for misuse” or promoting “misinformation and bias.”

“Good news,” Musk responded after Schumer released the outline of the framework. “AI regulation will be far more important than it may seem today.”

Technology firms otherwise battered by recent economic tumult have seen mass market AI as a possible windfall amid a drastic increase in demand for the systems among knowledge workers. Microsoft, which invested billions of dollars into ChatGPT creator OpenAI, announced that the system would be incorporated into the search engine Bing and internet browser Edge, allowing users to more easily locate information. Google revealed one day earlier that Bard, an experimental conversational AI service, would soon be added to the company’s search engine.

Musk, a co-founder of OpenAI who has since resigned his seat on the company’s board of directors, recently signed an open letter with hundreds of other technology leaders which called for a six-month moratorium on developing AI solutions stronger than GPT-4 as the world considers possible ramifications of the technology. “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” the letter asserted. “This confidence must be well justified and increase with the magnitude of a system’s potential effects.”

Other technology experts countered after the release of the letter that the concerns from Musk and others were exaggerated, additionally noting that adversarial nations such as China will not pause their AI development efforts. Schumer acknowledged in his call for AI regulation that any such policy framework must permit American researchers to compete with their Chinese rivals.


Musk said last week that he used his only one-on-one meeting with former President Barack Obama to warn about the dangers of AI and encourage regulation of the technology. He commented on social media that he saw the present advance in AI coming “well before GPT-1,” which is why he “tried to warn the public for years.”

Despite the looming uncertainty with the technology, including the possibility of widespread unemployment in knowledge professions, studies have indicated that AI systems drastically improve worker productivity. One recent analysis of customer support employees showed that generative AI helped workers respond to 14% more chats than their colleagues who did not have access to the system; Amazon, which released several mass-market AI solutions earlier this month, likewise found that coders who used AI computer programming tool CodeWhisperer completed tasks 57% faster and were 27% more likely to achieve success than those who did not use the system, which can generate real-time code suggestions.

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Musk Meets With Lawmakers To Discuss AI: ‘Great Power To Do Good And Evil’