Google, Amazon, Facebook Set to Discuss AI at White House

Representatives from major tech companies, as well as other industries, will attend a meeting Thursday with Trump administration officials to discuss the technology’s effect on jobs, policing policies and the world stage.

by Ben Brody, Bloomberg News / May 9, 2018
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich speaks during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at The White House in Washington, DC, February 8, 2017 where Intel announced an investment of $7 billion to build a factory in Chandler, Ariz. to create advanced semi-conductor chips. (Chris Kleponis /CNP/Abaca Press/TNS) TNS

(TNS) — WASHINGTON — Officials from top tech companies including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Inc., and Facebook Inc. are among those planning to attend a meeting at the White House Thursday on artificial intelligence.

The White House is inviting over 100 business leaders, senior government officials, and experts for an AI summit to address issues including development, regulatory barriers and specific applications. Business executives will represent sectors ranging from tech to food and agriculture, energy and manufacturing, financial services, health care, transportation and logistics, according to a White House official.

Other companies sending representatives include Microsoft Corp. and Nvidia Corp., as well as Mastercard Inc. and Pfizer Inc., according to a person familiar with the meeting.

Intel Corp.’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich will attend, said the person, who asked not to be identified because details of the meeting aren’t yet public. Facebook said it plans to send Jerome Pesenti, the vice president of AI, while Amazon confirmed Rohit Prasad, the vice president and head scientist for its Alexa device unit, will attend the meeting.

Nvidia, which designs 3D graphics processors, will send Ian Buck, the vice president of its $2 billion Tesla business unit, which focuses on AI, according to another person who is familiar with the company’s plans.

The meeting, which The Washington Post reported earlier, comes as lawmakers and officials increasingly weigh AI’s effect on jobs, and the build-up by U.S. adversaries including China. Other issues that have raised concerns range from the use of AI in policing controversial content online and making financial decisions. Still, many in the industry believe both regulation and legislation are likely years away.

The meeting represents an important step toward building collaboration between government and industry in the realm of artificial intelligence, said Dean Garfield, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, a trade group that includes several of the companies attending the meeting.

“The tech sector is committed to ensuring that all Americans reap the benefits of this transformative technology, which has the potential to save lives, improve how we harvest food, transform education and more,” Garfield said in a statement. “In order to maintain America’s leadership on AI, the administration should continue to invest in research and development, and advance programs that equip the workforce with skills of the future.”

(With assistance from Naomi Nix and Toluse Olorunnipa.).

©2018 Bloomberg News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.