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AI safety bill driven by fears Trump would reverse efforts to rein in technology | Semafor

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses California's latest AI safety bill, which is driven by fears that a potential future Donald Trump presidency could overturn federal efforts to regulate AI technology. The bill is backed by people connected to Elon Musk, a potential Trump ally.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] California's AI Safety Bill

1. What are the key features of California's AI safety bill?

  • The bill, called the Safe and Secure Innovation for Frontier Artificial Intelligence Models Act, would require AI developers to:
    • Swear under oath that their models are not capable of carrying out nuclear, chemical, biological or cyber attacks on critical infrastructure that result in mass casualties or at least $500 million worth of damages
    • Have the ability to shut down their model in case it wreaks havoc

2. Why is the bill driven by fears of a potential Trump presidency?

  • The bill is driven by fears that a future Trump presidency would overturn federal efforts to rein in AI technology, as he did during his previous term
  • The bill's backers, including Dan Hendrycks from the Center for AI Safety, believe that mitigating AI risks is a critical bipartisan issue, and that a Trump administration would take a "very strong anti-AI safety stance"

3. Who are the key supporters of the bill?

  • The bill is backed by people connected to Elon Musk, a potential Trump ally, including Dan Hendrycks, the director of the Center for AI Safety and safety advisor at Musk's startup xAI
  • The bill also has the support of the effective altruism movement, which has received millions in donations from billionaire Facebook co-founder and Asana CEO Dustin Moskovitz

[02] Concerns about the Bill

1. What are the concerns about the bill from the tech industry?

  • Many players in the tech industry are concerned that the bill is too draconian and will hamper innovation in California, the best state to build AI
  • The state senator, Scott Wiener, is now trying to strike a balance and is in talks to adjust the legislation as it heads to the Assembly
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