White House takes new steps to study AI risks, determine impact on workers

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Tuesday it would ask workers how their employers use artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor them, as it allocates federal investments in the technology, which is expected to change the nature of work.

The White House will hold a listening session with workers to understand their experience with employers’ use of automated technologies for surveillance, monitoring and evaluation. The call will include gig work experts, researchers, and policymakers.

Millions of users have tried AI apps and tools, which supporters say can make medical diagnoses, write screenplays, create legal briefs and debug software, leading to growing concern about how the technology could lead to privacy violations, skew employment decisions, and power scams and misinformation campaigns.

As part of its evaluation of the technology, the administration will also announce new steps, including an updated roadmap for federal investments in AI research, a request for public input on AI risks and with a new report from the Department of Education on how AI affects teaching, learning and research.

The listening session and new measures come after a meeting President Joe Biden hosted this month with chief executives of top artificial intelligence companies, including Microsoft and Alphabet’s Google.

The meeting focused on the need for companies to be more transparent about their AI systems and the importance of evaluating the safety of such products.

President Biden has also used the technology and experimented with it, the White House has said.

Shortly after Biden announced his reelection bid, the Republican National Committee produced a video featuring a dystopian future during a second Biden term, which was built entirely with AI imagery.

Such political ads are expected to become more common as AI technology proliferates.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington. Editing by Gerry Doyle)