Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, creator of ChatGPT, testified before Congress. The tone he struck was surprising. Altman wanted Congress to regulate AI, warned of its dangers with the potential of causing “significant harm to the world,” and conceded that there will be job losses but was optimistic AI technology would also create new jobs.
First, it is vital that AI companies–especially those working on the most powerful models–adhere to an appropriate set of safety requirements, including internal and external testing prior to release and publication of evaluation results. To ensure this, the U.S. government should consider a combination of licensing or registration requirements for development and release of AI models above a crucial threshold of capabilities, alongside incentives for full compliance with these requirements.
Second, AI is a complex and rapidly evolving field. It is essential that the safety requirements that AI companies must meet have a governance regime flexible enough to adapt to new technical developments. The U.S. government should consider facilitating multi-stakeholder processes, incorporating input from a broad range of experts and organizations, that can develop and regularly update the appropriate safety standards, evaluation requirements, disclosure practices, and external validation mechanisms for AI systems subject to license or registration.
Third, we are not alone in developing this technology. It will be important for policymakers to consider how to implement licensing regulations on a global scale and ensure international cooperation on AI safety, including examining potential intergovernmental oversight mechanisms and standard-setting.-Sam Altman