Sam Altman, the executive director of ChatGPT ‘s OpenAI, told US lawmakers this week that government regulation of artificial intelligence is “critical” because of the potential risks it poses to humanity.
Altman used his appearance before a US Senate judiciary subcommittee to urge Congress to impose new rules on big tech, despite deep political divisions that for years have blocked legislation to regulate the Internet.
“If this technology goes wrong, it can go pretty bad,” Altman, who has become the global face of AI, told the audience. “OpenAI was founded on the belief that artificial intelligence has the potential to improve almost every aspect of our lives, but also that it creates serious risks,” he said, but amid concerns about misinformation, job security and other dangers.
He said, “We believe that regulatory intervention by governments will be essential to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models”. Because of this, Altman proposed the creation of a US or global agency that would grant licenses to the most powerful AI systems and have the authority to “retire them and ensure compliance with security regulations.”
Concerns surrounding seceptive AI Technology
Altman’s San Francisco-based startup burst into the public arena late last year launching ChatGPT, a free chatbot tool that answers questions with convincing human-like answers.
But initial concerns about the possibility that students used ChatGPT to cheat on their assignments have broadened to more general concerns about the ability of the latest generation of “generative artificial intelligence” tools to deceive people, spread falsehoods, violate copyright protection and disrupt some jobs.
While acknowledging the enormous potential of AI tools, Altman suggested that the US government might consider a combination of licensing and testing requirements before the release of more powerful models. He also recommended labelling and more global coordination in setting standards for this technology.
OpenAI, co-founded by Altman in 2015 with the backing of tech billionaire Elon Musk, has grown from a nonprofit research lab with a security-focused mission to a company.
Another of its popular AI products is the DALL-E imager. Microsoft has poured billions of dollars into the startup and integrated the technology into its own products, including its Bing search engine.
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