Open AI CEO faces US Senate hearing

Category: AI Americas Regulatory

CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman is to face a hearing in the US Senate about Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Chat GPT was created by his company. The tool has become so advanced that it can write essays, scripts, poems and solve software coding in the same way a human would

Politicians are searching for the possible threats to humans that AI may pose in the future and whether it should be regulated by the government.

Calls for regulation

Altman will testify for the first time in Congress although he is expected to believe that regulation of the new technology should be implemented.

Experts who include Dr Geoffrey Hinton have recently come forward to say that they are concerned that the new technology is developing to quickly. Each Senator had seven minutes to present their statement.

Senator Blumenthan asked Altman if he thinks its a good idea to explain to users how trustworthy the content they are using is. He suggested that content should be given ‘scorecards’ to reflect its reliability.  Altman agree with this and believes that independent audits are important. He believes that although there is an element of mistakes when one uses AI technology, another type of software may be created to detect mistakes and accuracy.

Senate wishes to slow things down

Senator Lindsey Graham said he is also concerned about the speed of technological advances. He applauded the Senate with the approach being taken in a bipartisan way.  AI uses problem-solving skills based on information it is given.

We are going to have to scramble to keep up with the pace of innovation but this is a great start, ” Senator Lindsey Graham


Silicon Valley invested US $1 billion

OpenAI is the company behind ChatGPT. It was founded in 2015 with US$1 billion in support with investors from Silicon Valley.

Chat GPT-4 is the new version of ChatGPT. It can recognise and explain images. Its ability can be more sophisticated and provide recipe suggestions from photos of ingredients for example.

Bull in a china shop

Professor Emeritus Gary Marcus said that AI is “like a bull in a china shop”. He argues that people are not guaranteed that they are safe. He is concered that although AI is committed to assist humans and make their lives easier, he is concerned that Microsoft is one of the biggest funders of AI.

We have unprecedented opportunities but we are also facing the perfect storm. ” Professor Emeritus Gary Marcus

Altman is optimistic about AI future

At the hearing Altman appeared confident and approachable. He referred to some favourable ‘mentions’ by academics and stakeholders saying that he is “optimistic about the benefits of AI” but admitted that he also has concerns. He added that it was important for all stakeholders to work together.  He agreed that Government regulation is imperative, especially as AI tools become more powerful. He said that although in the past some technology firms believed in self regulation, this was at this stage impossible.

The hearing is ongoing.

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