Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said regulations on artificial intelligence would protect a handful of companies from competition, entrench biased data models and give China an advantage in the emerging technology.
(Bloomberg) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said regulations on artificial intelligence would protect a handful of companies from competition, entrench biased data models and give China an advantage in the emerging technology.
DeSantis, the leading challenger to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, addressed the growing questions about AI on Friday at a conference hosted by conservative radio host Erick Erickson in Atlanta.
Erickson billed the two-day event featuring GOP presidential candidates as a forum to talk about policy issues without the distraction of questions about Trump, who was not invited. He asked candidates, including DeSantis, about the “unknown unknowns” they might face as president.
“I think one of the things that we don’t know where it’s going per se, but we know it’s going to be an influence, is artificial intelligence,” DeSantis said.
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The Florida governor, who rose in prominence among national Republicans for his combative approach to cultural issues, said the technology allows computers to use big data sets to answer previously unanswerable questions. But he said the three most popular AI companies use “woke data sets” to power those answers.
“They want to get some regulation to protect them from competition. I actually think you need the competition, but there’s got to be limits to what we’re going to allow,” he said. “I don’t think we can can just put our head in the sand because China’s going to be using it from a defense perspective.”
The Biden Administration and regulators in Europe are both in the midst of drafting new regulations to govern AI, and some US companies have already rolled out self-imposed restrictions in conjunction with the White House. But lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have said additional legislation is likely necessary to address threats posed by the emerging technology.
DeSantis said he can’t fully outline what his AI policy would be as president because it will evolve rapidly in the next year and a half and the policy would have to be “nimble.”
But he said his guiding principle would be that “we’re not going to let human beings be displaced and overtaken by computers. That’s not going to be good for society.”
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