ChatGPT creator questioned by US Congress

Sam Altman CEO of Open AI

ChatGPT creator questioned by US congress Credit: TechCrunch Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

A number of tech innovators have been called to stand before the US Congress for difficult questions of the past few years. Today, May 16, is the turn of Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI who created ChatGPT.

Those before him include Mark Zuckerberg, Meta/Facebook boss and Shou Zi Chew representing Tik Tok. All have been subjected to intense questioning, despite some of the questions showing a lack of deep understanding of the tech industry by the senators asking them.

With Tech leaders including Elon Musk recently calling for caution around the roll-out of AI, Sam Altman was quick to point out that government regulation was essential as AI develops and becomes easier to access.

Dr Geoffrey Hinton, an AI founder who recently stepped down from a position at Google, warned that the technology could get out of control if given enough power to make its own decisions.

One of the witnesses in today’s congressional hearing, Christina Montgomery, the Cheif Privacy and Trust Officer for IBM, agreeing with Altman that there was a need for regulation, was quoted by the BBC as saying:

“Now is precisely the time to define and build the right guardrails to protect people and their interests.”

Altman also shared his thoughts on how ChatGPT and moreover the recently released GPT-4 – the technology behind the chatbot ChatGPT  – might affect jobs.

He conceded that it would be difficult to be precise, but that the technology should be seen as a tool rather than a ‘creature’. Altman believed that it could be a ‘printing press’ moment and that some jobs would go but that newer, better ones would be created.

Despite questions on intellectual property such as music and art, as well as deepfake technology (see the video below posted on YouTube by Bloomberg Originals), Sam Altman has seemed confident and genuinely concerned about user safety, as well as the effect on society at large.

We will keep you posted on any developments that arise in today’s congressional hearing.

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Written by

David Laycock

Dave Laycock has always written. Poems, songs, essays, academic papers as well as newspaper articles; the written word has always held a great fascination for him and he is never happier than when being creative. From a musical background, Dave has travelled the world performing and also examining for a British music exam board. He also writes, produces and performs and records music. All this aside, he is currently fully focussed on his journalism and can’t wait to share more stories from around the world and beyond.