Why Artists Are Not Buying US Biden’s AI Pacts With Big Tech?


  • Biden’s voluntary AI agreements with tech giants draw skepticism from artists who demand binding regulations.
  • Concerns arise over AI copyright infringement and potential job losses in creative industries.
  • Tech expert emphasizes that voluntary measures lack enforcement and may not lead to significant change.

The Biden administration recently announced that major tech companies have agreed to adopt practices for safer and more transparent AI development. However, the voluntary nature of the commitments prompts skepticism from artists and experts who feel binding regulations are needed to properly address the impacts of uncontrolled AI proliferation.

US Biden’s AI pacts with Big Tech

The White House revealed that seven of the largest players in AI technology – Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection Point, Meta, Microsoft, and OpenAI – have pledged to uphold principles for trustworthy AI advancement. The companies agreed to commitments centered on risks like cybersecurity, biosecurity, transparency, testing protocols, and preventing misuse.

According to the administration, the voluntary measures will serve as interim solutions until formal laws can be enacted to regulate AI technology and address related risks. The pledges followed a meeting between President Biden, Vice President Harris, and executives from the tech giants delving into AI concerns.

However, serious questions remain over the efficacy of trusting profit-driven companies to self-impose responsible AI development, especially as some firms already face lawsuits over generative AI harms. With artists and civil rights groups already mobilized against unchecked AI, binding regulations with enforcement teeth may be necessary.

Artists concerned Over AI copyright infringement and job loss

The rise of AI generative models like DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, and ChatGPT has stoked alarm among creatives over mass copyright violations and potential job displacement. Over the last year, artists have filed lawsuits and organized protests decrying the unauthorized co-opting of their work to train models churning out AI-generated content.

Despite ethical AI rhetoric, companies like Google, Meta, and OpenAI have released products accused of reproducing copyrighted art, photographs, and writings without permission. As AI proliferates, unchecked usage of copyrighted material threatens artists’ ability to earn income from their work. Lawmakers have held hearings questioning tech companies regarding plans to properly compensate creators.

Beyond copyright issues, artists fear AI could substantially disrupt professions involving writing, art, photography, and other creative occupations. Generative models’ rapid improvement creates unease that white-collar jobs may follow blue-collar roles in becoming automated.

Tech expert: Voluntary measures “meaningless” without enforcement

University of Chicago professor Ben Zhao contends the Biden administration’s reliance on voluntary commitments from AI companies is a meaningless gesture unlikely to compel comprehensive changes. He believes codified regulations with enforcement mechanisms are required versus trusting firms to act responsibly against their own financial interests.

As a computer science expert, Zhao sees an immense gap between the administration’s well-meaning but naive approach and the complex technical challenges around regulating AI systems. He notes the pledged goals around safety, transparency, and preventing harm remain poorly defined without concrete proposals for implementation and oversight.

Zhao highlights the example of robust watermarking technology to protect copyrighted material as one area lacking a clear solution. He argues AI companies are unlikely to earnestly pursue difficult and costly systems to audit their models without external pressures. In Zhao’s view, trusting non-binding agreements by tech giants amounts to an absence of meaningful progress.

Artists calls for seat at the table on AI policymaking

Concept Art Association, an organization supporting entertainment artists, contends that creators’ perspectives must help shape AI laws given their foundational role providing the training data for generative models. The group believes the administration’s discussions with tech executives provide an incomplete picture without input from artists fueling AI systems.

Concept Art Association spokesperson Deana Igelsrud said President Biden and Vice President Harris need artists’ voices to gain a thorough understanding of issues surrounding AI and entertainment. She noted that the administration has focused on hearing from tech companies so far but ignored the creators underpinning the AI art sector.

Skepticism persists on whether non-enforceable voluntary steps will prevent the harms artists have experienced as AI technology explodes in scale and capabilities. Binding regulations developed with artists’ expertise may prove essential to protect both livelihoods and intellectual property rights.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Editah Patrick

Editah is a versatile fintech analyst with a deep understanding of blockchain domains. As much as technology fascinates her, she finds the intersection of both technology and finance mind-blowing. Her particular interest in digital wallets and blockchain aids her audience.

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