OpenAI CEO warns Senate about AI interfering with elections

The executive said it was a "significant area of concern.”
Loukia Papadopoulos
Sam Altman.jpg

The CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman warned a Senate panel on Tuesday that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to interfere with election integrity is a "significant area of concern.”

This is according to a report by Reuters.

"I think we also need rules, guidelines, on what's expected in terms of disclosure from a company providing a model," Altman added. "I am nervous about it."

It was Altman’s first time speaking before Congress and he did not hold back going as far as to suggest that in general, the U.S. should consider severe licensing and testing requirements for the development of AI models.

When asked which AI should be subject to licensing, Altman replied that any model that can persuade or manipulate a person's beliefs would be an example of a "great threshold."

In addition, he claimed that firms should be free to decide they do not want their data used for AI training, a notion already being discussed on Capitol Hill. Material on the public web would be fair game, however, added the executive.

Finally, Altman shared that he "wouldn't say never" to advertising but that he was leaning more toward a subscription-based model.

Top technology CEOs convened

Altman’s testimony was one of many at the Senate as the White House invited top technology CEOs to address AI concerns with U.S. lawmakers seeking to further the technology's advantages, while limiting its misuse. 

"There's no way to put this genie in the bottle. Globally, this is exploding," said Senator Cory Booker, a lawmaker concerned with how best to regulate AI.

Altman’s warnings about AI and elections come at a time when companies large and small have been competing to bring AI to market, with billions of dollars at play. But experts everywhere have warned that the technology may worsen societal harms such as prejudice and misinformation.

Some have even gone so far as to speculate AI could end humanity itself.

The White House is taking all these concerns seriously and convening with all relevant authorities and executives to try and ensure that the worst case scenarios do not come to pass.

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