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OpenAI CEO Warns Senate About AI Interfering with Elections

OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman, expressed his concerns regarding the potential interference of artificial intelligence (AI) in elections during his testimony before a Senate panel on Tuesday. Altman emphasized the need for rules and guidelines regarding disclosure from companies providing AI models, emphasizing his apprehension about the issue.

This marked Altman’s first appearance before Congress, where he advocated for stringent licensing and testing requirements for the development of AI models in the United States. When asked about the specific AI models that should require licensing, Altman suggested that any model capable of persuading or manipulating people’s beliefs should meet a high threshold for regulation.

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Altman further asserted that companies should have the freedom to choose whether their data is used for AI training, a topic already under discussion in Congress. He mentioned that material available on the public web should generally be considered fair game for AI training, although the executive did not rule out the possibility of advertising, but leaned towards a subscription-based model.

The OpenAI CEO ‘s testimony highlighted the growing concerns surrounding the potential misuse of AI in electoral processes, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to address these challenges and ensure the integrity of democratic systems.

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