The White House on Friday will showcase an artificial intelligence firm founded by Jeffrey Epstein associate Reid Hoffman, giving a high-profile boost to the Democratic megadonor’s tech startup.
Hoffman’s co-founder at Inflection AI will attend a White House summit alongside executives from Google, Microsoft, and other AI companies to announce an initiative to promote the development of artificial intelligence while "manag[ing] the risks" posed by the technology.
The summit provides a major boost to Inflection AI, which Hoffman founded last year with former Google executive Mustafa Suleyman. Other companies represented at the summit have been in business for years. OpenAI, which operates ChatGPT, was founded in 2015. Inflection AI, which recently raised $1.3 billion in funding, launched its chatbot in May.
Inflection AI’s White House access is perhaps a testament to Hoffman’s extensive support for Democrats. Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, contributed over $700,000 to the Biden campaign and the Biden Victory Fund in April, according to campaign finance records. He also gave $41,300 to the Democratic National Committee. That’s in addition to the tens of millions of dollars Hoffman has given to other Democratic groups over the years.
The White House will partner with Hoffman’s firm even as the billionaire has been at the center of multiple high-profile scandals. Hoffman hosted a dinner with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein in 2014 and visited his home in New York City in 2015. Hoffman has said he regrets the meetings and has apologized for helping repair Epstein’s reputation.
In 2017, Hoffman funded a technology startup that created fake social media personas in order to dissuade conservatives from voting in a special Senate election in Alabama. Vulnerability to political disinformation has been a concern about AI as the technology develops. President Biden’s nominee to lead the National Security Agency warned last week that artificial intelligence technology poses a threat to next year's presidential election.
Hoffman’s involvement in the AI startup may also raise conflict of interest concerns. Hoffman serves on the Defense Innovation Board, which advises the Pentagon on the application of new technologies for military use. The board has focused heavily on AI and has issued recommendations for the Pentagon to embrace the technology.
There is also cause for concern that Inflection AI’s technology is lagging behind its competitors. A Washington Free Beacon analysis of the Inflection AI chatbot found that it inaccurately denied that Hoffman had a relationship with Epstein.
Pi, Inflection AI's chatbot, repeatedly denied that Hoffman had ever met Epstein and suggested that reports about their meetings were "based on false information." The chatbot praised Hoffman "for his philanthropy and his commitment to social justice."
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.