Daily Dash: Visa, Mastercard Among Companies To Join AI Safety Consortium

February 12, 2024
Visa, Mastercard and several big tech companies have joined a new AI safety consortium launched by the US government, while PayPal has announced a new round of layoffs in 2024.

Visa, Mastercard Among Companies To Join AI Safety Consortium

US secretary of commerce Gina Raimondo has announced the creation of a US AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC) with Visa and Mastercard as founding members. Tech giants Apple, Microsoft and Amazon are also signed up. 

The consortium will be housed under the US AI Safety Institute (USAISI) and will contribute to priority actions outlined in President Biden’s Biden’s executive order on AI.

Issued in October last year, the executive order aims to develop guidelines for risk management, safety and security when using AI.

Raimondo said the US government has a “significant role to play” in setting standards and developing tools to mitigate risks and harness the “immense potential” of AI.

Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said that trust is needed in the technology if AI’s full potential is to be realised.

“That starts with a common set of meaningful standards that protect users and spark inclusive innovation,” he said.

Another Year, Another Round Of Layoffs At PayPal

PayPal has confirmed that in 2024 it will cut 9 percent of its global workforce, totalling about 2,500 jobs, through layoffs and elimination of roles that are currently open.

The move is the first round of layoffs initiated by new CEO Alex Chriss since his appointment in August last year.

“While I have been encouraged by the innovation our team is delivering, we must execute faster and ensure we are focused on solving our customers' most critical needs and problems,” he said.

“Specifically, across our organisation, we need to drive more focus and efficiency, deploy automation, and consolidate our technology to reduce complexity and duplication.”

In February last year, previous CEO Daniel Schulman announced plans to cut 2,000 jobs due to a “challenging macroenvironment”.

In its latest Q4 2023 earnings, PayPal reported a 9 percent rise in revenue and an 8 percent rise in operating profit. PayPal stock tumbled over 10 percent after warning investors of a slowdown in growth in 2024.

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