Musk and Zuckerberg set to meet at Washington industry forum on future of AI

Senator Schumer to host gathering as X and Meta leaders are in stalemate feud

And in this corner … Mark Zuckerberg, left, and Elon Musk. AP
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US Senator Chuck Schumer plans to bring together technology industry chiefs to discuss the ramifications of artificial intelligence.

They include Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, who have been discussing whether to take their rivalry to a cage match.

Others invited to the closed-door meeting in September are Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Alphabet and Google; Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella; Nvidia co-founder Jensen Huang; and former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, according to Mr Schumer’s office.

The gathering, which was reported earlier on Monday by Axios, is intended as the first of Mr Schumer’s AI Insight Forums, and part of his strategy to give Congress more influence over the future of artificial intelligence as it takes on a growing role in the professional and personal lives of Americans.

In a June speech, he introduced a policy framework to aid Congress members as they begin regulating artificial intelligence.

Mr Schumer said Congress should promote American innovation while protecting consumers from dangers posed by the technology.

Industry leaders are urging protective measures to curb the threat AI poses to millions of jobs and to national security.

Mr Schumer said in the address at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington that principles should guide policymaking, including promoting democratic values and US innovation, addressing copyright and misinformation concerns, and ensuring national and economic security.

His framework came after months of discussions with industry leaders, academics and others.

Mr Schumer, a New York Democrat, has not set a deadline for introducing laws but has expressed an interest in bipartisan legislation during this session of Congress.

He’s said that the Chinese Communist Party’s release in April of its own approach to regulating AI is a “wake-up call” for action in the US.

The feud between Mr Musk, chief executive of Tesla and owner of X, and Mr Zuckerberg, chief executive of Meta Platforms, attracted renewed attention this summer, first with reports of a possible cage match between them, then with the rise of Meta’s Threads, designed as a direct rival to X.

Mr Musk, the world’s richest person, first challenged Mr Zuckerberg to the fight in late June. The Meta chief responded by asking for the location.

But on August 6, Mr Musk posted that he would receive an MRI of his neck and upper back. Then he said he had a problem with his shoulder blade that might require minor surgery.

“Recovery will only take a few months,” he said.

On August 11, Mr Zuckerberg, a martial arts enthusiast, expressed scepticism that an encounter would ever take place.

“If he ever agrees on an actual date, you’ll hear it from me. Until then, please assume anything he says has not been agreed on,” he wrote on Threads.

Updated: August 28, 2023, 11:37 PM