Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One is being cited as one of the main reasons that President Joe Biden became even more worried about the effects of artificial intelligence.
According to Deputy White House Chief of Staff Bruce Reed, he and Biden watched the movie one weekend at Camp David.
“If he hadn’t already been concerned about what could go wrong with AI before that movie, he saw plenty more to worry about,” Reed told the Associated Press.
The Tom Cruise film’s villain is a sentient and rogue AI known as “the Entity” that sinks a submarine and kills its crew in the movie’s opening minutes.
Biden already had been concerned after seeing AI deepfakes of himself. In his remarks on Monday at the signing of an executive order to establish guardrails around the fast-emerging technology, Biden said, “I watched one of me, ‘When the hell did I say that?’, he joked. “But all kidding aside, a three-second recording of your voice to generate an impersonation good enough to fool your family — or you. I swear to God. Take a look at it. It’s mind blowing. And they can use it to scam loved ones into sending money because they think you are in trouble.”
The executive order requires AI companies to share their safety test results with the U.S. government. The order also calls on the federal government to come up with best practices for employers to “mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits” of AI. But it’s unclear whether that would be in any way enforceable. It’s especially relevant to the current labor unrest in Hollywood, as AI is still a significant issue in the SAG-AFTRA talks with studios, who still want flexibility in their use of the technology.
Biden’s executive order also take steps to try to root out deepfakes. The order does not require AI companies to label AI-generated content, but directs the Department of Commerce to develop standards for authentication and watermarking.
Reed told the AP that Biden was “as impressed and alarmed as anyone.”
“He saw fake AI images of himself, of his dog,” Reed said. “He saw how it can make bad poetry. And he’s seen and heard the incredible and terrifying technology of voice cloning, which can take three seconds of your voice and turn it into an entire fake conversation.”