OpenAI CEO Sam Altman appeared before Congress on Tuesday to testify about the dangers and opportunities of AI, saying regulation was “urgently” needed.
The 38-year-old executive largely agreed with members of the Senate subcommittee on the need to tame the increasingly powerful AI being developed by his company and other tech giants such as Google and Microsoft.
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In his testimony, Altman pleaded with lawmakers to regulate AI as committee members showed a new understanding of the technology.
The hearing also highlighted the deep unease felt by engineers and governments about its potential harm.
“We believe government regulatory intervention will be key to de-risking increasingly powerful (AI) models,” he said.
Altman’s arrival comes after the viral success of his company’s chatbot tool, ChatGPT. The tool sparked an arms race over AI and raised concerns from some lawmakers about the risks the technology poses.
A roster of tech companies around the world has introduced new AI tools in recent months that could change the way people work and interact. The same tools have also sparked criticism that they can disrupt millions of jobs, spread misinformation and perpetuate prejudice.
AI as a manipulation tool
OpenAI Boss Said The potential for AI to be used to manipulate voters or target disinformation is one of “the areas I’m most concerned about”, especially “with elections coming up next year, These models are being improved.”
Prior to the hearing, Altman also spoke about OpenAI’s technology at a dinner with dozens of congressmen Monday night, and reportedly met several senators personally.
According to the New York Times reportAltman provided a loose framework for managing what happens next in a rapidly evolving system that some believe could fundamentally change the economy.
“I think if the technology doesn’t work, it can go quite a bit wrong, and we want to be very vocal about it,” he said. “We want to work with the government to prevent that from happening.”
Asked about the impact of AI on music, Altman said content creators should have a say in how their voices, likenesses and copyrighted content are used to train AI models. said.
1. Sam Altman testifies before the Senate
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and other industry leaders just testified before a Senate committee on artificial intelligence. pic.twitter.com/TQ2HKX8um8
— Rowan Chan (@rowancheung) May 17, 2023
He also told the commission that his company is working on a copyright system to compensate artists who use their work to create something new.
“Creators should be in control,” he said, adding that regulations should require the state of an image when it is generated by AI. But some lawmakers questioned whether OpenAI was doing enough, and questioned why the company couldn’t implement it sooner.
regulations lag behind
speak to reporters After the hearing, Senator Richard Blumenthal, chairman of the Senate Committee, said the hearing was intended to learn more about AI’s potential benefits and harms, and ultimately lead to a series of hearings to “write the rules.” said to be the first. He added that Altman “seems pretty sincere” and stressed that “congress can’t be the gatekeeper” of AI regulation.
Senator Blumenthal conceded that someone else would have to step up and play a regulatory role because “the Federal Trade Commission doesn’t have the ability to do that right now.”
The senator also acknowledged that Congress has failed to keep up with the adoption of new technology in the past.
“Our goal is to demystify these technologies and hold them accountable to avoid some of the mistakes of the past. Congress failed to capture the moment on social media.”
Subcommittee members proposed that an independent body oversee AI and introduce rules that force companies to disclose how their models work and the datasets they use. So do antitrust laws to prevent companies like Microsoft and Google from monopolizing the market.
leaving the EU
AI skeptic Professor Gary Marcus says the United States and others are “too late in regulating social media” but have choices when it comes to AI, calling for the creation of a new cabinet-level body to regulate the area. Proposed, and Mr. Altman also shows the idea. seemed to support.
Christina Montgomery, chief executive of IBM’s privacy trust, said EU rules on AI were “regulatory on a case-by-case basis” and set a good precedent for the US to follow.
AI regulation has been a topic of great interest since the ChatGPT-led boom in the space, with a number of new tools coming to market.
Tech people like Elon Musk letter It calls for a halt to AI development until regulations are clarified, citing the potential harm to humanity.
Senator Blumenthal said AI companies should lead with a “do no harm” approach, but admitted that AI development would not stop until regulators caught up.