OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Calls for Congress to Regulate AI Technology

Liam Cosgrove
By Liam Cosgrove
May 17, 2023Congress

In a recent hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, appealed to lawmakers to regulate artificial intelligence (AI), specifically addressing the advancements made in developing the advanced chatbot ChatGPT.

Altman highlighted both the possibilities and potential pitfalls of this cutting-edge technology. 

“I do think some regulation would be quite wise on this topic,” Altman said. “People need to know if they’re talking to an AI, if content they’re looking at might be generated or might not.”

The rapid emergence of several AI models in the market over a short period has raised concerns that necessitate a robust regulatory framework.

One of the key proposals put forth by Altman was the creation of a new agency dedicated to licensing AI companies. This agency would be responsible for ensuring compliance with ethical standards and addressing the accuracy concerns associated with AI technology. 

At the age of 38, Altman has become an influential figure within the rapidly growing AI industry. He compared the new invention to the printing press, saying it could usher in a new productive age.

However, Altman openly admitted that the rise of AI could adversely affect the job market, potentially leading to widespread layoffs in various sectors. 

“There will be an impact on jobs,” he said. “We try to be very clear about that.”

Potential Threats to Democracy

During the hearing, Altman expressed deep concerns about the potential threats to democracy posed by AI, particularly in the form of targeted misinformation campaigns during elections.

“My worst fears are that we—the field, the technology, the industry—cause significant harm to the world. I think that can happen in a lot of different ways,” Altman said. 

To address these apprehensions, he proposed mandating independent audits of organizations such as OpenAI.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley acknowledged the revolutionary potential of AI but also drew a sobering parallel to the invention of the atomic bomb. 

Meanwhile, Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal underscored the importance of ensuring that an AI-dominated future aligns with societal values. “An AI-dominated future is not necessarily the future that we want,” he said. 

Blumenthal urged Congress to learn from past shortcomings, such as the failure to adequately regulate social media, and emphasized the need to prioritize the greater good over potential harm.

“Congress failed to meet the moment on social media,” he said. “Now [we] have the obligation to do it on AI before the threats and the risks become real.”

Altman defended OpenAI’s ChatGPT program by saying it “is a tool not a creature.”

“GPT4 and other systems like it are good at doing tasks, not jobs, so you see already people that are using GPT4 to do their job much more efficiently.”

From The Epoch Times

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