Big Tech wants AI regulation. The rest of Silicon Valley is skeptical.

by MMC
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After months of high-level meetings and discussions, government officials and big tech executives have agreed on one thing about artificial intelligence: This potentially revolutionary technology requires certain ground rules. But many in Silicon Valley are skeptical. Washington Post: A growing group of tech heavyweights – including influential venture capitalists, CEOs of mid-sized software companies and supporters of open source technology – oppose it, saying the laws on AI could stifle competition in a vital new area. For these dissidents, the willingness of the biggest players in AI, such as Google, Microsoft and ChatGPT maker OpenAI, to adopt regulation is just a cynical ploy by these companies to maintain their advantages as current leaders, essentially pulling the ladder behind them. . The concerns of these technology leaders gained momentum last week, when President Biden signed an executive order establishing a plan for the government to develop testing and approval guidelines for AI models – the underlying algorithms that drive “generative” AI tools such as chatbots and images. creators.

“We are still in the early days of generative AI, and it is imperative that governments do not preemptively name winners and end competition by enacting onerous regulations that only the largest companies can satisfy,” said Garry Tan, director of Y. Combinator, a San Francisco-based startup incubator that has helped grow companies including Airbnb and DoorDash in their early days. The current debate has not adequately considered the voices of small businesses, Tan said, which he said is essential to fostering competition and designing the safest ways to harness AI. Companies like Anthropic and OpenAI, an influential AI startup, are closely tied to big tech because they have invested huge amounts of money from them.

“They don’t speak for the vast majority of people who have contributed to this industry,” said Martin Casado, general partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which invested early in Facebook, Slack and Lyft. Most AI engineers and entrepreneurs follow regulatory discussions from afar, focusing on their companies instead of trying to lobby politicians, he said. “A lot of people want to build, they are innovators, they are the silent majority,” Casado said. The executive order showed these people that regulation could come sooner than expected, he said. Casado’s venture capital firm sent a letter to Biden expressing its concerns. It was signed by prominent AI startup executives, including Replit CEO Amjad Masad and Mistral’s Arthur Mensch, as well as more established tech leaders, such as AI startup CEO Tobi Lutke. e-commerce Shopify, which tweeted “Regulating AI is a terrible idea” after the executive order was announced.

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