Artificial Intelligence Executive Wants Congressional Oversight

( – One of the principals behind what looks to be the artificial intelligence revolution told a Senate panel on May 16th that he fears the very products his company is developing.

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, told a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that the tech sector’s work on artificial intelligence could cause “significant harm to the world” if the powerful computing technology is not subject to the right regulations.

OpenAI is the company that released the digital product known as ChatGPT, which stands for “Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer.” ChatGPT allows users to “converse” with it by typing and text, asking questions as wide-ranging as how to solve technical problems to the history of politics in 19th century America.

The service can produce text answers that are startlingly like speaking to a well-educated human, and the service can even produce poetry or limericks that many have difficulty distinguishing from a human author.

But users have also reported a pronounced left or “woke” bias in ChatGPT. The system can only “learn” from the base material and ideas given to it by human programmers. The Brookings Institution notes that researchers say ChatGPT has a left-leaning bias. The service will sometimes flagrantly lie, “pretending” that it is unaware of known facts if those facts are not flattering to minority demographics cherished by the left. 

OpenAI’s Sam Altman told Congress that his “worst fears” were that the AI field could cause significant harm and that he started the company to combat that possibility. “We want to work with the government to prevent that from happening,” he said. 

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said companies do not often come to Congress to say “Please regulate us.” However, large corporations do often ask lawmakers to regulate them when those companies can get in on the ground floor of writing the rules they will have to live by. 

Subcommittee member Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said he’s most worried about people losing their jobs to artificial intelligence.

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