Sep 12, 2023 - Technology

More tech companies take White House AI safety pledge

Illustration of a human hand and a computer cursor hand engaged in a handshake

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

IBM, Adobe, Salesforce and five more tech companies are making voluntary safety, security and transparency commitments to the White House related to their use of artificial intelligence.

Why it matters: The pledges are similar to those made in July by OpenAI, Microsoft, Meta and other companies and show growing industry momentum for the voluntary standards.

Details: Although not legally binding, the new companies are joining their peers in agreeing — among other things — to ensure internal and external testing before product release, to label AI-generated content using watermarking or other technology, and to share information with each other and the federal government about risks and vulnerabilities.

  • Other companies taking the pledge are Nvidia, Palantir, Stability AI, Cohere and Scale AI.

Between the lines: The voluntary commitments are one part of a Biden administration strategy that also includes an executive order, currently in the drafting process, and a bevy of legislative efforts.

  • Adobe is encouraging the new signers of the pledge and other tech companies to also get behind the FAIR Act, a proposed bill that would ensure celebrities and others maintain the right to their digital likenesses.
  • The latest White House move also comes as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) hosts a number of tech companies at a separate AI forum on Wednesday.

What they're saying:

  • The White House: "The President has been clear: harness the benefits of AI, manage the risks, and move fast – very fast," Chief of Staff Jeff Zients said in a statement. "And we are doing just that by partnering with the private sector and pulling every lever we have to get this done."
  • Adobe: General Counsel Dana Rao told Axios that Adobe has been working on AI responsibility efforts for the past four years, including leading the Content Authenticity Initiative to identify when content is created or edited using AI. "I'm really excited to see the White House step in," Rao said. "We need that momentum from the White House to really push these initiatives to where they need to be."
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