Lazy eyes listen
The CEO of OpenAI, the company that developed ChatGPT, has pushed US politicians to implement artificial intelligence rules. On Tuesday, Sam Altman warned that the technology “could go quite wrong,” comparing the arrival of AI programmes to the birth of the printing press.
The ChatGPT creator was interrogated by the Senate Judiciary Committee during a five-hour hearing on the possible hazards of AI chatbots and their ability to influence human history. Altman confessed that his greatest fear is that the technology will do “significant harm.”
“If this technology goes wrong, it could go quite wrong, and we want to be vocal about that,” he said, adding that OpenAI wants to “work with the government to prevent that from happening.”
Senators grilled Altman on the precise concerns posed by ChatGPT and similar models, with Missouri’s Josh Hawley questioning whether the technology could potentially influence elections.
“Should we be concerned about models that can predict survey opinion and then help organisations and entities fine-tune strategies to elicit behaviours from voters?” Hawley inquired.
In response, Altman remarked that AI’s persuasive abilities were one of his “greatest areas of concern,” emphasising the importance of regulating the technology ahead of the 2024 US presidential election.
Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut called AI’s potential threats to the employment market “the biggest nightmare” confronting the public.
Altman acknowledged that some occupations might someday be mechanised out of existence, but claimed that as technology advances, new jobs will be created.
The session on Tuesday was the first in a series meant to examine ways to regulate AI programmes such as ChatGPT. The software has been the fastest-growing in history since its inception late last year, topping 100 million users in just two months. Fearing that AI would soon become uncontrollable, US politicians have emphasised that controls should have been built a long time ago.
Geoffrey Hinton, the “godfather of AI,” warned earlier this month that the arrival of artificial intelligence constituted a “more urgent” threat to civilization than climate change. Other tech industry leaders, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, co-signed an open letter warning of the dangers of an unregulated AI arms race in March. They urged Silicon Valley to halt the development of the technology for six months.