OpenAI CEO calls for laws to mitigate ‘risks of increasingly powerful’ AI

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The CEO of OpenAI, the company responsible for creating artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT and image generator Dall-E 2, said “regulation of AI is essential” as he testified in his first appearance in front of the US Congress.

Speaking to the Senate judiciary committee on Tuesday, Sam Altman said he supported regulatory guardrails for the technology that would enable the benefits of artificial intelligence while minimizing the harms.

“We think that regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models,” Altman said in his prepared remarks.

Altman suggested the US government might consider licensing and testing requirements for development and release of AI models. He proposed establishing a set of safety standards and a specific test models would have to pass before they can be deployed, as well as allowing independent auditors to examine the models before they are launched. He also argued existing frameworks like Section 230, which releases platforms from liability for the content its users post, would not be the right way to regulate the system.

“For a very new technology we need a new framework,” Altman said.

Both Altman and Gary Marcus, an emeritus professor of psychology and neural science at New York University who also testified at the hearing, called for a new regulatory agency for the technology. AI is complicated and moving fast, Marcus argued, making “an agency whose full-time job” is to regulate it crucial.