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Netanyahu speaks with Musk, Altman, drafting national AI policy

“We will turn Israel into a global artificial intelligence power,” said the Israeli premier.

Entrepreneur and X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk. Source: Facebook.
Entrepreneur and X (formerly Twitter) owner Elon Musk. Source: Facebook.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone on Sunday night with tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, whose “insight and contribution to humanity” the premier holds in “high esteem.”

“We are at the dawn of a new era for humanity, an era of artificial intelligence. Things are changing at a dizzying pace and Israel must formulate a national policy on this issue,” Netanyahu said after the call.

The Israeli leader said that Musk spoke at length about two issues: The need for governments to understand both the opportunities and the dangers of artificial intelligence; and his view that Israel could become a significant global player in the field.

“I am certain that this is true and we will do it,” said Netanyahu, who on Monday spoke with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

Altman, whose ChatGPT has quickly become an international sensation, met with President Isaac Herzog earlier in the day.

Launched in November, ChatGPT is an artificially intelligent chatbot that can have human-like conversations, answer questions and assist people in writing assignments. The software has been made available to the public through an app, and millions of users have used it primarily for writing and research.

“In the coming days, I intend to convene policy teams to discuss a national artificial intelligence policy in both the civilian and the security spheres. Just as we turned Israel into a global cyber power, we will also do so in artificial intelligence,” said Netanyahu.

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