Sam Altman (ChatGPT), on Capitol Hill: “If AI Goes Wrong, Big Go Wrong” | technology

A friendly atmosphere prevailed on Tuesday morning during the first hearing on artificial intelligence held at the Capitol. The tone was very different from the blistering cross-examinations of the past between US senators and the founders of social networks like Facebook or, more recently, the CEO of TikTok. No one seems interested in getting off to a bad start in a relationship that promises to be long and complicated. That helped superstar guest Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT, the most powerful man-made tool in the field, sat down in front of bipartisan Judiciary Committee members, by agreement for once, and told them he had called to take urgent action: “Who It is necessary to regulate artificial intelligence, and that these rules ensure that the public has access to the many benefits of this technology.” “My worst fear is that this technology is going to go wrong. And if it goes wrong, it can go very wrong.”

Altmann added that he understood that “people are worried about how this could happen [la IA] It can change the way we live.” “But we believe that we can and must work together to identify and manage the potential downsides so that we can all enjoy the enormous benefits,” he concluded.

Among them, he noted how AI can “help make new discoveries and tackle some of the biggest challenges facing humanity, such as climate change and cancer treatment.” He also noted that OpenAI, which has skyrocketed in business in just a few months, is a “non-profit entity” and that he does not get paid “more than enough money to cover Social Security,” nor does he have stock in the company. “It’s simply because I love what I do.”

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Altman also discussed with apparent sympathy the biggest challenges his revolutionary tool will bring to the future of work, in the ways its irresponsible use could affect the spread of disinformation, and the outcome of the upcoming presidential election in the United States or in the United States. Creative industries work.

“This hearing is historic,” said veteran Sen. Dick Durbin (Illinois), the committee chairman, after hearing the first conciliatory responses from Altman. “I’ve lost count of the number of private individuals and entities who have shown up here to try and make us believe that the economy will boom if we lawmakers get out of the way.”

Example of nuclear weapons

Altman went a little further then: “America should be the first country to do something. But I think that, as fanciful as it sounds, I also think this should be a global effort. In this sense, he called for the creation of an international organization that would set standards for artificial intelligence, at least Similar to the way it was done in the past with “nuclear weapons”.

Next to him sat Christina Montgomery, the CEO of IBM, who asked lawmakers to be specific in their regulations (“It’s not the same thing as using technology to help choose this or that restaurant or to make decisions about employment or housing”), and Gary Marcus, professor Emeritus of New York University, who offered the morning’s most critical views, calling it “a perfect storm of corporate irresponsibility, extraordinary pervasiveness, and lack of organization and confidence.” “Humanity is getting late,” he said.

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All three agreed with lawmakers on the importance of not making “the same mistakes” as with social networks. “We’re acting too slowly. A lot of unfortunate decisions have had lasting consequences,” Marcus said. “The decisions we make now will have implications for decades, maybe even centuries.”

At the request of Louisiana Senator John Neely Kennedy to provide measures to design such regulation that everyone seemed to agree with, Marcus proposed creating an agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (which controls the drug market in the United States) to create a pre-screening of new tools and one that would monitor them after they were introduced in market, as well as finding avenues for funding to intervene in future research.

Altman’s first proposal accepted the need to create an agency that licenses and removes licenses for AI firms, and ensures “compliance with the rules.” The second is to create a “set of security standards”. third? “Create protocols to detect when a model is able to replicate itself.” This fear, which seems to be taken out of a cheap science fiction novel, is, according to experts, one of the biggest AI challenges for the future of humanity.

Some senators stressed the fact that Chat GPT has achieved 100 million users in two months. This Tuesday, some of those users sat around questions at the Capitol. Democrat Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) played an audio clip imitating his own voice, generated by the trendy technological gadget. Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee) explained that over the weekend she asked the machine to compose a song for the artist nation Garth Brooks, while Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) found out “with great pleasure” that when asked who the top three musicians in history were, she got an answer from ChatGPT that included two natives of her state: Prince and Bob Dylan.

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