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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kamala Harris set to unveil $200 million AI fund from private foundations

By Laura Davison Bloomberg News

Vice President Kamala Harris is poised to announce an investment of more than $200 million from philanthropic foundations to finance artificial intelligence advancements as part of the White House’s effort to guide the quickly developing technology, according to an administration official.

The investment aligns with the Biden administration’s broader goals of promoting AI innovation that protects consumers and support international rules for the nascent technology. The funders are also prioritizing initiatives focused on safeguarding democracy, assisting workers facing AI-driven changes and improving the transparency around AI, the official said.

The looming announcement comes as Harris is scheduled to travel to London this week to meet with industry and foreign government leaders at a summit on AI risks. While overseas, she will also deliver a speech focusing on containing the dangers posed by AI, including societal harms, bias, discrimination and misinformation, the official said.

“Government has a real critical role but government cannot alone deal with all these issues,” said Ike Irby, a deputy domestic policy adviser to the vice president. “We need to pull every lever possible to meet the challenge of AI.”

President Joe Biden on Monday signed an executive order that empowers the federal government to enact security standards and privacy protections on new AI tools. The order will have broad effects on companies including Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which will have to submit test results on their new models to the government before releasing them to the public. The directive also calls for AI-generated content to be labeled.

The use of AI tools has soared in recent months with the release of platforms, including OpenAI’s ChatGPT app, that are readily accessible to the average consumer. The increased use of the technology has also spurred concerns that the platforms could be used to spread misinformation or that the underlying algorithms are perpetuating human bias.