On May 16th, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, testified before a US Congressional committee about ChatGPT and AI. OpenAI is the creator of the ChatGPT chatbot that has been taking the world by storm since December 2022.
The hearing provided fascinating insight to viewers of many news channels around the world about the threats of AI-based chatbots, and more specifically about ChatGPT. This new AI technology is being used widely, in business as well as increasingly in institutions of learning and training, although it is still in early stages of development and the full implications are not yet clear.
See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP5YdyjTfG0 for the full hearing, or https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-us-canada-65610337 for excerpts.
Apart from Altman, a number of experts on AI were also invited and were questioned by members of the Committee. Amongst them were other leaders from industry as well as sceptics on the line that AI development is currently taking.
Much attention was given to the question as to how control can be exerted to prevent harm, while at the same time not limiting the potential of the powerful technology of AI. Altman himself is of the view that government regulation of some or other kind is crucial. This is, however, no easy matter, given that countries will follow different approaches, while companies would like to exploit the competitive advantage provided by AI.
The hearing gives a good insight into the challenges industry and lawmakers will face in finding appropriate ways forward with AI. Universities, as well, will have to engage with many of these challenges.