Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg Excluded From DHS’s New AI Safety Board


Artificial Intelligence

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has announced the formation of a new artificial intelligence safety board, a powerhouse of expertise comprised of CEOs from leading U.S. technology companies. This initiative, led by notable members such as Sam Altman of OpenAI, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Jensen Huang of Nvidia, aims to safeguard the nation’s critical services against AI-related disruptions.

During the announcement, Secretary Mayorkas emphasized the dual nature of A.I., highlighting its potential to enhance government services alongside the severe implications of its misuse. He noted the establishment of the board as a step to mitigate these risks, stating, “We recognize the tremendously debilitating impact its errant use can have.”

The AI safety board DHS also includes leaders from major corporations such as Adobe, Advanced Micro Devices, Delta Air Lines, IBM, Northrop Grumman, Occidental Petroleum, and Amazon’s AWS cloud computing division. However, it was noted that representatives from prominent social media companies such as Elon Musk’s AI company and Mark Zuckerberg’s AI project were not included.

In addition to corporate executives, the board features civil rights advocates and AI experts like Fei-Fei Li, who heads Stanford University’s AI Institute. Public officials like Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, who are recognized for their proactive approaches to utilizing AI, are also part of the group.

Secretary Mayorkas expressed confidence that the board’s diverse expertise would enable the Department of Homeland Security to respond effectively to evolving threats posed by artificial intelligence. The board advises on strategies that ensure A.I. technologies are harnessed responsibly and safely, benefiting public services without compromising security.

Per a report, Secretary Mayorkas underscored the board’s proactive approach, a key aspect of its mission. The board is designed to develop actionable recommendations for sectors such as transportation, utilities, and internet service provision, all critical to national security and public safety. The emphasis is on preventing and preparing for AI-related disruptions that could impact these essential services. This initiative reflects growing concern over critical infrastructure vulnerabilities to sophisticated AI-assisted cyber threats.

The newly formed board is set to tackle its task with urgency. It will hold its first meeting next month, with plans for quarterly sessions to follow. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2024 threat assessment highlighted the urgency of addressing potential AI-assisted cyberattacks. These attacks could be more significant in scale, efficient, faster, and elusive, targeting vital American infrastructures like pipelines and railways. The board’s task is to guide the safe implementation of A.I. technologies to mitigate these threats effectively, ensuring robust protection for the nation’s essential services.

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