AI Congress Hearing: OpenAI CEO Calls for AI Licenses

    Image copyright: Reuters

    The Facts

    • On Tuesday, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the company behind the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT, testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on Privacy, Technology & the Law to call for safeguards on powerful AI like the kind underpinning his chatbot.

    • Altman was a co-founder of OpenAI — developed in 2015 — before becoming CEO of the company in 2019. The company has since partnered with Microsoft after the tech giant invested $10B in the AI start-up.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    While we don't want to leave regulation and enforcement to these private AI companies, traditional hardline legal frameworks don't work either, as this technology will evolve too rapidly for lawmakers to keep up. Therefore, a basic ethics guideline should be overseen by an independent regulatory body, free from both private and governmental overreach.

    Narrative B

    As lawmakers quickly look for ways to rein in the AI industry, including the White House's "AI Bill of Rights," we shouldn't forget the importance of technological innovation. Focusing solely on the potential harms of AI will cause us to lose sight of the groundbreaking positive impacts this technology can have on society.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance the first weakly general AI system will be devised, tested, and publically known by March 2026, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Public figures in this story

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