CEO of OpenAI Testifies Before Senate Hearing Over AI Risks





On Tuesday, OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman spoke in front of a Senate panel hearing about rising concerns relating to artificial intelligence. OpenAI is the company behind ChatGPT, a chatbox released in November 2022 that uses AI learning techniques to generate “human-like conversations” in addition to a number of other rapid text-producing needs. 

While Altman acknowledged the technology is a historical achievement, he does stand firm in his stance that this is an advancement that needs strict regulation and safeguards put in place. Altman appeared before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee and stated, “We think that regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models.”

Multiple tech companies are utilizing AI tools and the number of options is growing exponentially this year alone. The intentions of AI creators could be as simple as providing a new set of tools to streamline tedious tasks, but as the technology grows in popularity, people are growing more concerned about losing their jobs, disrupting real human interactions in addition to the potential to spread misinformation and promote biases or even manipulate voters. 

As Altman said before the Senate, the above-mentioned are “my areas of greatest concern… we’re going to face an election next year and these models are getting better.” He proposed requiring specific licenses and testing requirements to be mandated throughout the AI development and release of new AI models.

For instance, Senator Richard Blumenthal began the hearing by playing an eerily accurate recording of his voice produced by a combination of audio of his speeches combined with a script written by ChatGPT. He expressed valid concerns the future use of this technology could end up creating a wave of misinformation and a PR nightmare for anyone AI impersonates with malicious intent. 

Senator Blumenthal said although his recording was on brand for his political views, this technology has the capabilities to create “an endorsement of Ukraine’s surrendering or Vladimir Putin’s leadership… that would’ve been really frightening.”

There are significant potential risks to utilizing artificial intelligence tools, some of which not even the creators themselves can fully visualize yet. Altman calls for responsible development of AI technology with a firm grasp of the ethics of creating such tools, as it will have a significant impact on society.

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