“My greatest fear is that we will cause significant damage to the world.”

“My greatest fear is that we will cause significant damage to the world.”

The CEO and co-founder of Open AI, developer of the text generation program ChatGPT, Sam Altman on Tuesday called on the U.S. Congress to regulate the development and uses of artificial intelligence (AI).

In an appearance before a Senate subcommittee Altman made a list of the beneficial applications of the technology.from medicine to combating the climate crisis, and was confident that AI can be used for the benefit of mankind.

But he qualified that government intervention is necessary of the world to ensure that these tools are developed in a way that protects and respects the rights and freedoms of citizens.

“We believe that the benefits of the tools we have developed thus far far outweigh the risks by far.“, defended the entrepreneur during the hearing.

However, the OpenAI co-founder showed concern about. the risks the technology could pose to the world. if its development is not monitored.

“My greatest fear is that we will cause (…) significant damage to the world.” Altman said when asked for his main concerns about artificial intelligence.

He added that “if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong.”

“That could happen in many ways. It’s why we started the company,” he said, adding that his company wants to work with the government to prevent it from happening.

Unexpected effects of IA

Altman’s testimony comes amid concern on the part of U.S. policymakers that the rapid advancement of AI technologies will might have unexpected effects on society.

The legislators cited. risks such as loss of jobs or the use of content creation tools to generate false information. by foreign actors.

Tom Hanks in the poster for 'World's Worst Neighbor'.

To illustrate his concerns, Senator Richard Blumenthal, chairman of the subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law and a driving force behind the hearing, issued a recording made with artificial intelligence which had been written by ChatGPT, imitating the style and main focuses of interest of the congressman.

“Quoting ChatGPT, this is not necessarily the future we want“, Blumenthal joked at the start of the event.

Altman admitted that AI is likely to Will affect the labor market, but he was optimistic that in the long run, technology will generate more new jobs than it will destroy.

“We are tremendously creative“, the entrepreneur confided.

Another guest at the event, IBM’s Chief Privacy and Trust Officer, Christina Montgomery, cited her own position as an example of a job that didn’t exist prior to the development of AI.

Altman was also open to Blumenthal’s suggestion that the government develop independent laboratories to test the reliability of artificial intelligence models, And that they would give them a grade similar to the nutritional rating of food.

Imperfect products

The head of OpenAI admitted that their products still make bugs, but that over time they will become more and more reliable.

Another of the hearing’s driving senators, Republican Josh Hawley, asserted that artificial intelligence is “one of the most significant innovations in history,” but that it it is still unclear whether it will be more like the invention of the printing press or the invention of the atomic bomb.

The congressmen argued that while it is true that it is necessary to public regulation, AI companies like OpenAI do not have to wait for Congress to put in place mechanisms to control the development of the technology to mitigate harm.

Microsoft introduced ChatGPT on Bing in February and, since then, installs of the app have quadrupled.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government announced that it will invest $140 million (€128.85 million at today’s exchange rate) to establish Seven new artificial intelligence research institutes that will drive responsible innovation. and will ensure that advances in technology serve the common good.

The centers will join the 18 AI research institutes already in operation in the country.

In addition, the White House announced that. large AI companies have agreed to submit to a public evaluation of their systems. during the DEF CON 31 “hacker” event, to be held in Las Vegas in early August.

During the convention, thousands of participants will be analyzing whether these systems are aligned with the AI Bill of Rights. proposed by the U.S. government, which includes principles such as privacy of user data or protection against discriminatory algorithms.

Kayleigh Williams