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Dangers of AI: Why White House wants to meet Google, Microsoft CEOs

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The White House is hosting its first meeting with the CEOs of Google, Microsoft, Anthropic and OpenAI, to discuss the risks of the revolutionary technology, as the Biden administration plans to put its weight behind the safe development of this innovation, Washington Post reported.

The White House in a statement said it would host CEOs of top artificial intelligence companies on Thursday to discuss risks and safeguards as the technology catches the attention of governments and lawmakers globally.

According to Washinton Post, the White House is convening the executives after President Biden warned that companies have a responsibility to make sure artificial intelligence products are safe before they’re released. 

Generative artificial intelligence has become a buzzword this year, with apps such as ChatGPT capturing the public’s fancy, sparking a rush among companies to launch similar products they believe will change the nature of work.

Millions of users have begun testing such tools, which supporters say can make medical diagnoses, write screenplays, create legal briefs and debug software, leading to growing concern about how the technology could lead to privacy violations, skew employment decisions, and power scams and misinformation campaigns.

“We aim to have a frank discussion about the risks we see in current and near-term AI development,” said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. “Our North Star here is this idea that if we’re going to seize these benefits, we have to start by managing the risks.”

Thursday’s meeting will include Google’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, OpenAI’s Sam Altman and Anthropic’s Dario Amodei along with Vice President Kamala Harris and administration officials including Biden’s Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Director of the National Economic Council Lael Brainard and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

Ahead of the meeting, the administration announced a $140 million investment from the National Science Foundation to launch seven new AI research institutes and said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget would release policy guidance on the use of AI by the federal government.

Leading AI developers, including Anthropic, Google, Hugging Face, NVIDIA, OpenAI, and Stability AI, will participate in a public evaluation of their AI systems at the AI Village at DEFCON 31 – one of the largest hacker conventions in the world – and run on a platform created by Scale AI and Microsoft.

Shortly after Biden announced his reelection bid, Republican National Committee produced a video featuring a dystopian future during a second Biden term, that was built entirely with AI imagery.

Such political ads are expected to become more common as AI technology proliferates.

United States regulators have fallen short of the tough approach European governments have taken on tech regulation and in crafting strong rules on deep fakes and misinformation that companies must follow or risk hefty fines.

“We don’t see this as a race,” the administration official said, adding that the administration is working closely with the US-EU Trade & Technology Council on the issue.

In February, Biden signed an executive order directing federal agencies to eliminate bias in their use of AI. The Biden administration has also released an AI Bill of Rights and a risk management framework.

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division also said they would use their legal authorities to fight AI-related harm.

Tech giants have vowed many times to combat propaganda around elections, fake news about the COVID-19 vaccines, racist and sexist messages, pornography and child exploitation, and hateful messaging targeting ethnic groups.

But they have been unsuccessful, research and news events show. Just about one in five fake news articles in English on six major social media platforms were tagged as misleading or removed, a recent study by activist NGO Avaaz found, and articles in other European languages were not flagged.

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‘e-procurement system should be implemented throughout the country’

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The e-procurement system was implemented, according to a news release from the PPRA managing director, in order to decrease public spending by increasing transparency.

Hasnat Ahmed Qureshi stated that the system would soon be adopted nationwide, including in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, following its installation in 27 ministries and 280 governmental departments.

In cooperation with the Federal Board of Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, Accountant General Pakistan Revenues, and State Bank of Pakistan, he said, a system was planned to facilitate procurement agencies and suppliers. One-window operation and e-payment options will be provided by the system.

The PPRA managing director also noted that the Finance Ministry and the Cabinet Division, which are acting in accordance with the Prime Minister’s instruction, have made significant contributions to the implementation of the e-procurement system.

8,500 government workers and vendors have received specialized training for the “E-Pak Acquisition and Disposal System” initiative, which was started with support from the World Bank in March 2023.

The Procurement Rules 2004 have undergone 25 revisions by the federal PPRA in order to provide an easy and uncomplicated procurement process.

For the convenience of procurement engineers and suppliers, the PPRA has released high-quality bidding documents and procurement regulations. Additionally, help desks that offer daily technical support to departments and suppliers have been set up.

After successfully registering for free on the e-procurement system, about 13,000 suppliers and commercial entities are now qualified to participate in federal government procurement processes.

The e-procurement system, which would assist the provinces in ensuring efficient and transparent procurement procedures, has been given to Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the federal PPRA. Since July 1, the Punjabi government has successfully brought the e-procurement system into the province in an effort to guarantee openness.

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The China-Pakistan alliance aims to introduce environmentally friendly solar-powered electric bicycles.

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Recently, a preliminary cooperation deal was made to bring eco-friendly solar e-bikes to Pakistan by Road King, a well-known electric scooter company in Pakistan, and AGAO Solar Mobility, a China-based startup that specialises in solar-powered scooters.

With solar panels installed, solar scooters are environmentally friendly electric scooters. Instead of using conventional charging methods, these panels use solar energy to recharge the scooter’s battery. The Chinese company said that the short-distance, carbon-emission-free scooter and solar energy combination is dedicated to this goal.

The demand for products in Pakistan’s local transportation industry, trends in product development, and particular cooperative methods were all extensively discussed by the parties at the conference, according to CEN.

The Chinese firm promised to help Road King with product optimisation, marketing support, and technical support for solar-powered e-bikes. Developing superior transport products in tandem with the needs of the regional market is the aim.

As the delegation from Road King pointed out, we will aggressively pursue collaboration with the Chinese side and bring solar e-bikes to the Pakistani market. The high efficiency and eco-friendliness of solar e-bikes perfectly match Pakistan’s present need for environmentally friendly transportation.

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China is constructing the majority, namely two-thirds, of the world’s new wind and solar power plants.

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According to a report by the U.S.-based think tank Global Energy Monitor (GEM), China is constructing 339 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale wind and solar energy, which accounts for 64% of the total global capacity. The project pipeline of the first-place country is more than eight times that of the second-place U.S., which has 40 GW.

The authors of the paper stated that China’s rapid progress makes it highly achievable to treble renewable capacity by the end of 2030, even without more hydropower. They urge China to increase its climate ambitions in its upcoming promises to the United Nations next year.

Last week, the Sydney-based think tank Climate Energy Finance said that Beijing is on course to achieve its own target of installing 1,200 GW of wind and solar power by this month, which is six years ahead of schedule.

According to GEM research analyst Aiqun Yu, China’s coal-centric power grid is facing difficulties in accommodating the rapid growth of renewable energy sources. To address this issue, there is a need for the accelerated expansion of transmission lines.
However, a different analysis published by Carbon Brief on Thursday revealed that the recent increase in capacity has resulted in renewable generation reaching unprecedented levels.

According to the analysis conducted by Lauri Myllyvirta, senior fellow at Asia Society Policy Institute, China’s electricity generation from coal reached a record low of 53% in May. At the same time, a record high of 44% of electricity came from non-fossil fuel sources. This suggests that China’s carbon emissions may have reached their highest point last year, assuming this trend continues.

The percentage of coal decreased from 60% in May 2023.

In May, solar power generation increased to 12% and wind power generation reached 11%, primarily due to China’s significant addition of new capacity. The remaining non-fossil fuel electricity was comprised of hydropower at 15%, nuclear power at 5%, and biomass at 2%.

In May, the power industry in China experienced a 3.6% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions, which account for almost 40% of the country’s total emissions, due to the increased generation of renewable energy.

“According to Myllyvirta, if China continues to rapidly deploy wind and solar energy, it is expected that the country’s CO2 emissions will continue to decrease, with 2023 being the year when emissions reach their highest point and start to decline.”
In May, solar power generation had an unprecedented increase of 78% compared to the previous year, reaching a total of 94 terrawatt hours (TWh).

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, there was a 29% rise in electricity generation from solar power. However, this figure does not account for the electricity generated by rooftop solar panels, which represents approximately half of the total solar electricity produced.

The new analysis computed the wind and solar power production by utilizing data on the capacity of power generation and the utilization figures provided by the China Electricity Council, an industry body.

Wind power generation increased by 5% compared to the previous year, reaching a total of 83 TWh. This growth was primarily driven by a 21% increase in capacity. However, the overall utilization of wind power was lower due to fluctuations in wind conditions. Hydropower production experienced a significant increase of 39% compared to the previous year, during which it was adversely affected by a drought.

Gas-fired output experienced a decline of 16%, while power generation from coal decreased by 3.7%, despite a 7.2% growth in overall energy consumption compared to the previous year.

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