During a Tuesday Senate hearing, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, expressed grave concern over the potential misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) to undermine election integrity. Altman emphasized the critical need for regulatory countermeasures against such threats.
Regarding the intersection of elections and AI, Altman remarked, “I am nervous about it.” He also emphasized the need for clearly defined norms and guidelines to address these issues.
In recent months, the competition to develop advanced AI has intensified, with companies of all sizes contributing enormous quantities of data and billions of dollars to this end. However, the rapid development of AI has sparked concern among critics, who fear that it could amplify societal problems such as prejudice and misinformation, and even the end of humanity, according to some.
Senator Cory Booker echoed these sentiments, stating, “There’s no way to put this genie in the bottle. Globally, this is exploding.” Legislators share his concerns regarding the effective regulation of artificial intelligence.
As the 2024 election approaches, Senator Mazie Hirono highlighted the dangers of false information. She made allusion to a viral photoshop of former President Trump allegedly being arrested by the NYPD. She questioned Altman as to whether he considered such manipulated content to be detrimental. In response, Altman suggested that creators should make it clear when an image is generated rather than a representation of reality.
Altman, making his début in Congress, proposed that the United States consider licensing and testing requirements for the development of AI models. When asked to specify which categories of artificial intelligence should require licensing, he cited models that can alter or manipulate a person’s beliefs as a significant criterion.
Additionally, Altman advocated for the right of businesses to decline the use of their data for AI training, a concept currently being discussed on Capitol Hill. He noted, however, that content freely available on the public Internet should be regarded fair game.
While Altman did not completely rule out the possibility of advertising, he favored a subscription-based model.
The White House has assembled top technology CEOs, including Altman, in an effort to address the challenges posed by AI. Similarly, U.S. legislators are actively pursuing strategies to harness the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) while enhancing national security and limiting potential misuse. Nonetheless, consensus on the optimal strategy remains illusive.
According to Reuters, a member of the OpenAI team recently proposed the establishment of a U.S. licensing agency for artificial intelligence, possibly called the Office for AI Safety and Infrastructure Security (OASIS).
OpenAI’s Altman, who is backed by Microsoft Corp, advocates for international collaboration on AI regulation and the implementation of safety compliance incentives. In the meantime, Christina Montgomery, IBM’s chief privacy and trust officer, has urged Congress to concentrate regulation on areas where AI has the greatest potential to cause substantial societal harm.