Biden urges APEC members to ensure AI brings change for better By Reuters

© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Leaders Retreat during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco, California, U.S., November 17, 2023. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

By Jeff Mason and David Brunnstrom

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday urged Asia-Pacific economies to work together to ensure that artificial intelligence (AI) brings change for the better, not to abuse workers or limit potential.

Addressing the final session of a two-day summit of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in San Francisco, Biden said he had briefly discussed AI with Chinese President Xi Jinping in talks on the sidelines of APEC on Wednesday.

Biden has used the two-day APEC summit to highlight the strong U.S. economy and its ties to other Pacific nations, even as his vision for greater regional cooperation to counter China’s influence stumbled on the trade front over his bid to strengthen workers’ rights.

“We’re going to see more technological change in the next 10 years than we’ve seen the last 50 years,” Biden said, as Xi looked on a few places to his left at a circular conference table. “Together we have to make sure it changes for the better.”

Biden said digital technologies like AI must be used to “uplift, not limit, the potential of our people,” and noted that the United States had brought together leading AI companies in the summer to agree voluntary commitments “to keep AI systems safe and trustworthy.”

The steps, he said, included committing to ensuring the security of AI systems before releasing them to the public, watermarking AI-generated content to show it has been generated by artificial intelligence and minimizing the risk AI systems posed to society, such as by promoting bias or discrimination.

Biden also noted that he had signed an executive order last month to set new AI standards, such as requiring developers of the most powerful AI systems to share their safety test results with the government, and to strengthen technologies to protect privacy and prevent employers from using AI to exploit workers.

Meanwhile, Washington was expanding grants for AI research in key areas like healthcare and climate change, he said.

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