President Joe Biden met with the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) on Tuesday to discuss the risks and opportunities that AI technologies pose, a White House official said in a statement to MeriTalk.

According to the White House, the meeting focused on the risks and opportunities that artificial intelligence (AI) technologies pose for individuals, society, and national security. Biden discussed the importance of protecting rights and safety to ensure responsible innovation and appropriate safeguards.

“Tech companies have a responsibility to make sure their products are safe before making them public,” Biden said during the April 4 meeting.

“Today we’re going to discuss the opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence. AI can help deal with some very difficult challenges like disease and climate change,” Biden said. “But we also have to address the potential risks in our society, for our economy, for our national security.”

PCAST is a Federal advisory committee composed of distinguished experts charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations the White House. It is co-chaired by Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Arati Prabhakar.

“I look forward to today’s discussion about ensuring responsible innovation and appropriate guardrails, protecting Americans’ rights and safety and protecting their privacy and to address the bias and misinformation that is possible as well,” Biden said.

He continued, adding, “Social media has already shown us the harm the technology can do without the right safeguards in place.”

During the meeting, the president called on Congress to pass bipartisan privacy legislation to “protect kids and limit personal data tech companies collect on all of us.”

Biden’s meeting with PCAST comes at a time when AI is a hot topic for many policymakers.

Last year the Biden administration released a blueprint “Bill of Rights” to help ensure users’ rights are protected as technology companies design and develop AI systems. Shortly after, the National Institute on Standards and Technology released its AI Risk Management Framework.

Last week’s Summit for Democracy brought a slew of new AI initiatives the Federal government is working towards.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.