Zuckerberg discusses AI risks with Japan PM


This photo taken on February 27, 2024 shows Mark Zuckerberg, head of US tech giant Meta, speaking to reporters at the Japanese prime minister's office during his visit to Tokyo. — Photo by JIJI Press/AFP/Japan OUT

TOKYO: Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg met with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida while on a visit to Japan, with reports saying they discussed the risks of generative AI.

"We had a good, productive conversation about AI and the future of technology," local media quoted Zuckerberg as saying after the 30-minute meeting on Tuesday.

"I'm really excited for the work that is happening here in Japan," the Facebook founder said after the talks, which reportedly included Joel Kaplan, Meta's vice president of global public policy.

Spearheaded by OpenAI's ChatGPT, generative artificial intelligence is a technology that can conjure up text, images and audio in just seconds from simple prompts.

Its rapid development has been heralded as potentially revolutionary for everything from video games to politics -- but with negative as well as positive consequences.

This month, Meta was one of 20 major tech firms including OpenAI to sign a pledge to crack down on AI content intended to deceive voters ahead of crucial elections around the world this year.

Tech groups had previously agreed to use a common watermarking standard that would tag images generated by AI applications such as ChatGPT, Meta's Llama, Microsoft's Copilot and Google's Gemini.

Zuckerberg, 39, has been in Japan for several days mixing business with pleasure, including skiing with his family, training with a Japanese sword master and eating at McDonald's.

He arrived on a private flight in South Korea's capital Seoul on Tuesday night for the second leg of his Asia trip, local outlet Maeil Business News reported.

He is expected to meet South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and leaders of global tech titans Samsung and LG, according to local media.

"We are coordinating with Meta to arrange a meeting," a spokesperson for Yoon's office told AFP on Wednesday.

Zuckerberg will meet the CEO of LG Electronics to discuss the development of a mixed-reality headset to compete with Apple's Vision Pro, the Korea Economic Daily reported.

Maeil said his South Korea agenda includes a meeting with the head of Samsung Electronics, one of the world's biggest smartphone and semiconductor companies.

Then in India, Zuckerberg will attend the lavish March 1-3 pre-wedding celebrations of the son of Mukesh Ambani, chairman of oil-to-telecoms giant Reliance, reports said.

Meta, Google and others have invested billions of dollars in Reliance's digital unit Jio Platforms as it seeks to take on Amazon and Walmart in India's vast ecommerce market. – AFP

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