“Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One” played a pivotal role in heightening President Joe Biden’s concerns about the implications of artificial intelligence. The Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Bruce Reed, disclosed that a recent viewing of the film at Camp David over the weekend with President Joe Biden sparked an increased concern about artificial intelligence. Reed emphasized to the Associated Press that the movie significantly amplified Biden’s apprehensions about AI.
The film, featuring Tom Cruise, presents a menacing AI antagonist known as “the Entity.” This rogue AI demonstrates its lethal capabilities in the opening scenes of the movie by sinking a submarine and eliminating its crew, underscoring the potential dangers of uncontrolled artificial intelligence.
Before this movie experience, Biden’s worries about AI were already stirred by encountering deepfakes of himself. He shared his astonishment and concern while signing an executive order to establish safeguards around AI. He humorously recounted his reaction to a deepfake of himself, questioning when he had ever said the words in the video. He highlighted the sophisticated capability of AI to create convincing impersonations with just a brief sample of a person’s voice, raising concerns about potential scams targeting loved ones.
Biden’s executive order mandates AI companies to disclose their safety testing results to the U.S. government. It also urges the federal government to devise best practices for employers to balance the benefits and mitigate the risks of AI. However, the enforceability of these measures remains uncertain. This directive is particularly relevant in light of the ongoing labor disputes in Hollywood, where the use of AI technology remains a contentious issue in negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and studios.
Furthermore, Biden’s order includes initiatives to combat the spread of deepfakes. While it doesn’t require AI companies to label AI-generated content explicitly, it instructs the Department of Commerce to develop standards for verifying authenticity and adding watermarks to such content.
Reed’s conversation with the Associated Press revealed that Biden was both intrigued and alarmed by AI’s capabilities. He had seen convincing AI-generated images of himself and his dog and examples of AI’s ability to craft substandard poetry. Most unsettling, however, was Biden’s exposure to the advanced and potentially dangerous technology of voice cloning, which can fabricate entire fake conversations from a mere three-second voice sample.