OpenAI Makes A Special Request To Congress

( – The CEO of OpenAI, one of the country’s top artificial intelligence companies, told US senators on Tuesday that companies looking to develop powerful AI systems should be licensed by the federal government, NBC News reported.

Testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman suggested that the federal government consider “licensing and testing requirements” for companies looking to develop and release AI models that exceed a certain “threshold of capabilities.”

Altman appeared before the subcommittee along with IBM’s chief privacy and trust officer Christina Montgomery and Gary Marcus, New York University professor emeritus of psychology and neural science, to discuss possible federal oversight of artificial intelligence.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, the chairman of the subcommittee, suggested that Congress consider independent testing labs that provide scorecards that are the AI equivalent of nutrition labels on food.

When ranking member Josh Hawley of Missouri suggested that Americans might view artificial intelligence as a source of trusted information, Altman said some government regulation “would be wise on this topic.” He said people should know whether or not they are interacting with artificial intelligence.

The OpenAI CEO also said that the public may eventually adapt to the onslaught of artificial intelligence-generated false media and information, noting that when Photoshopped images first “came onto the scene,” there was a time when people were fooled but they “pretty quickly developed an understanding” that the images were not authentic. He said the same is true of AI-generated information, “but on steroids.”

Gary Marcus told the subcommittee that the artificial intelligence industry is close to leveraging massive amounts of personal data to develop “hyper-targeting of advertising.” He said, at this point, AI technology is “partway there” and eventually will “certainly get there.”

Marcus called for the creation of a Cabinet-level department to oversee artificial intelligence, warning that the risks from AI are large.

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