Sam Altman, the CEO of artificial intelligence lab OpenAI, told a Senate panel he welcomes government regulation on the technology “to mitigate” its risks.
“As this technology advances, we understand that people are anxious about how it could change the way we live. We are too. But we believe that we can and must work together to identify and manage the potential downsides so that we can all enjoy the tremendous upsides. It is essential that powerful AI is developed with democratic values in mind. And this means that U.S. leadership is critical,” Altman said Tuesday.
“We think that regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models,” Altman added.
Altman’s comments came amid his opening remarks at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing regarding implementing rules on artificial intelligence. OpenAI released its wildly popular chatbot ChatGPT late last year, followed by updated versions, which has launched Silicon Valley and the tech community across the world into a race to create comparable and more powerful AI systems.
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“I believe that we will be able to mitigate the risks in front of us and really capitalize on this technology’s potential to grow the U.S. economy and the world. And I look forward to working with you all to meet this moment, and I look forward to answering your questions,” Altman added.
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His comments come after OpenAI’s top lawyer suggested last week the best way to regulate artificial intelligence is to let companies themselves set standards before implementing government rules.
Altman said during his opening remarks that he hopes artificial intelligence will serve as a “printing press moment” for the U.S., before acknowledging AI is “unusual technology.”
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“We’re here because people love this technology. We think it can be a printing press moment. We have to work together to make it so,” Altman said. “OpenAI is an unusual company. And we set it up that way because AI is an unusual technology. We are governed by a nonprofit and our activities are driven by our mission and our charter to ensure that the broad distribution of the benefits of AI and to maximize the safety of AI systems.”
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, said that Tuesday marks the first in a series of planned hearings as lawmakers navigate how best to regulate artificial intelligence.
Thousands of tech leaders and experts signed an open letter in March calling on AI labs to pause their research on technology more powerful than OpenAI’s GPT-4. The letter warned that powerful AI systems “can pose profound risks to society and humanity,” setting off a debate in both Washington, D.C., and across the country on how to best regulate the tech.
Fox News Digital’s Peter Kasperowicz contributed to this article.
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