OpenAI’s Sam Altman Urges A.I. Regulation in Senate Hearing
The tech executive and lawmakers agreed that new A.I. systems must be regulated. How that would happen is not yet clear.
During recent congressional hearings, the tone towards tech industry executives has mainly been antagonistic. However, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, presented a different perspective during his testimony before a Senate subcommittee. Altman agreed with lawmakers on the need to regulate the rapidly advancing field of artificial intelligence (A.I.), which is being developed by his company and by tech giants like Google and Microsoft.
Altman, making his first appearance before Congress, urged lawmakers to implement regulations for A.I. while expressing his appreciation for the subcommittee’s growing understanding of the technology. This hearing highlighted the concerns shared by technologists and the government regarding the potential risks associated with A.I. However, Altman found a friendly audience among the members of the subcommittee.
As a prominent figure in A.I., Altman’s appearance marked an important milestone in his career. He dressed more formally than usual, wearing a blue suit and tie for the three-hour hearing.
In addition to the hearing, Altman discussed his company’s technology during a dinner with House members and had private meetings with several senators. He presented a loose framework for managing the future development of A.I., acknowledging its potential risks and expressing a desire to collaborate with the government to prevent adverse outcomes.
Altman’s appearance in Congress comes when interest in A.I. is rapidly growing. Despite concerns over misinformation, job displacement, and the prospect of A.I. rivalling human intelligence, major tech companies continue to invest substantial resources in this transformative technology.