OpenAI’s Altman says we may not be far from ‘potentially scary’ AI

OpenAI’s Altman says we may not be far from ‘potentially scary’ AI

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said AI regulation will be key as the fledgling industry moves forward.
JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

  • Microsoft’s AI-powered Bing recently baffled some people with shocking responses.
  • Amid discussion and scrutiny, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman shared his thoughts on AI in a series of tweets on Sunday.
  • He warned the world might not be ‘that far from potentially scary’ and said regulation would be ‘critical’.

Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, warned that the world might not be “far from scary” than artificial intelligence, and said its regulation would be “critical”.

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Altman said a transition to an AI-powered future is “generally good” and can happen quickly – like the transition from the “pre-smartphone world to the post-smartphone world”.

He cautioned, however, that society needs time to adapt to “something as big” as AI.

“We also need enough time for our institutions to figure out what to do. Regulation will be key and will take time to figure out; while current-gen AI tools aren’t terribly scary, I think we’re potentially not that far from potentially scary,” he tweeted.

He reported that a challenge with AI chatbots is “people coming out unsettled talking to a chatbot, even though they know what’s really going on.”

This phenomenon was recently observed with the Bing search engine powered by Microsoft’s ChatGPT. Bing pissed off some people last week after he started giving shocking answers to questions, which ranged from sarcastic and argumentative to overtly emotional.

Microsoft explained in a blog post last Wednesday that long discussions can “confuse the model” who may sometimes try to answer or “reflect the tone in which they are asked to provide answers that can lead to a style we don’t hadn’t planned. The company is also trying to get a grip on the platform – it now limits the number of interactions users can have with the bot. Users can now ask up to five questions to Bing per session and have up to 50 sessions. per day.

Altman talks about regulating AI since 2015

This isn’t the first time Altman has talked about regulating AI. He wrote about it on his blog as early as March 2015.

β€œThe US government, and all other governments, should regulate the development of SMI,” he wrote, referring to superhuman artificial intelligence. “In an ideal world, regulation would slow down the bad guys and speed up the good guys – it looks like what happens with the first SMI to be developed will be very important.”

Altman’s tweet on Sunday about regulation echoed comments from Mira Murati, OpenAI’s CTO, who said in a Feb. 5 interview with Time magazine that ChatGPT should be regulated because it could be used misuse. “It’s not too early” to regulate it, Murati told the outlet.

Elon Musk – co-founder of OpenAI alongside Altman – said at the World Government Summit in Dubai last Wednesday that AI has “big, big promise” and capabilities – both positives and negatives, but regulation was needed.

“I think we need to regulate AI safety, frankly,” Musk said, according to CNBC. “It’s, I think, actually a bigger risk to society than cars or planes or drugs.”

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