Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the company that developed ChatGPT, has urged the US Congress to create regulations for AI.
Technology can go wrong, Altman warned, likening the emergence of “artificial intelligence” to the invention of the printing press.
During a five-hour hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the inventor of ChatGPT was questioned about the potential dangers of intelligent chatbots and their potential to reshape human history.
Altman admitted his worst fear was that the technology could cause “significant harm”.
“If this technology goes bad, it could absolutely go wrong, and we want to be upfront about that,” he said, adding that OpenAI is seeking to “work with the government to prevent that from happening.”
Senators questioned Altman about the specific threats posed by ChatGPT and similar models, with Josh Hawley of Missouri asking if the technology could influence elections.
“Should we be concerned about models that can predict poll opinion and then help organizations and entities fine-tune strategies to elicit behaviors from voters?” Hawley asked.
In response, Altman stated that AI’s persuasive powers were one of his “big areas of interest,” and insisted that significant work needed to be done to regulate the technology before the 2024 US presidential election.
Senator Richard Blumenthal has cited the potential risks artificial intelligence poses to the labor market, calling it the public’s biggest nightmare.
Altmann acknowledged that some professions will eventually be automated, but argued that new jobs will also be created as technology advances.