Big names in AI to convene at secretive Bilderberg meeting

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Some of the biggest names in artificial intelligence (AI) will participate in this year’s edition of the secretive Bilderberg Meeting, which routinely attracts business and political elites from around the world.

The annual Bilderberg Meeting begins Thursday and will conclude Sunday in Lisbon, Portugal. Roughly 130 participants from 23 countries are expected to be in attendance and participate in the private event.

Several executives from tech companies involved in the AI arms race will be in attendance, according to Bilderberg, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Google DeepMind chief Demis Hassabis and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

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Altman testified earlier this week before a Senate committee and invited regulation on AI, saying “regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models.”

Schmidt, who serves as the co-founder of Schmidt Futures, has struck a similar note, calling the recent advances in AI a “watershed moment” and expressing concern that bad actors could abuse the technology.

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Nadella and Microsoft have an exclusive partnership with OpenAI, which has resulted in the incorporation of ChatGPT into Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Edge web browser. The company is also integrating Microsoft 365 Copilot into the Microsoft Office suite of programs.

Google recently merged its DeepMind division led by Hassabis with its Google Brain unit, forming Google DeepMind. The move came as the tech giant became concerned about its competitive position following advances made by OpenAI and Microsoft.

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The public is unlikely to get much of a glimpse into what the titans of AI and other elites discuss at the conference. Discussions aren’t open to the press and are governed by what is known as the Chatham House rules, which bar attendees from disclosing the identity of a speaker and associating them with any comments made. 

Although the secretive nature of the annual Bilderberg Meeting allows attendees to speak freely on a wide range of topics, it has given rise to conspiracy theories from across the political spectrum that allege attendees are seeking to impose some form of ideological order on the world.

Among the business and economic topics other than AI that will be on the agenda are:

  • Banking
  • Energy transition
  • Fiscal challenges
  • Industrial and trade policy
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Several geopolitical topics will also be discussed, such as:

  • China
  • Europe
  • India
  • NATO
  • Russia
  • Transnational threats
  • Ukraine
  • U.S. leadership

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