11 June 2024

US National Security Experts Warn AI Giants Aren’t Doing Enough to Protect Their Secrets


Last year, the White House struck a landmark safety deal with AI developers that saw companies including Google and OpenAI promise to consider what could go wrong when they create software like that behind ChatGPT. Now a former domestic policy adviser to President Biden who helped forge that deal says that AI developers need to step up on another front: protecting their secret formulas from China.

“Because they are behind, they are going to want to take advantage of what we have,” said Susan Rice regarding China. She left the White House last year and spoke on Wednesday during a panel about AI and geopolitics at an event hosted by Stanford University’s Institute for Human-Centered AI. “Whether it’s through purchasing and modifying our best open source models, or stealing our best secrets. We really do need to look at this whole spectrum of how do we stay ahead, and I worry that on the security side, we are lagging.”

The concerns raised by Rice, who was formerly President Obama's national security adviser, are not hypothetical. In March the US Justice Department announced charges against a former Google software engineer for allegedly stealing trade secrets related to the company’s TPU AI chips and planning to use them in China.

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