OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s call for regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) before the Senate this week raised questions about how to mitigate the risks of new generative AI platforms like ChatGPT.
For Context: There is currently no comprehensive federal legislation on AI in the U.S. The European Union (EU) recently passed AI regulations that include promoting government-controlled regulatory environments to test AI tools before they're deployed publicly.
What Will Be Done? Efforts to regulate AI in the U.S. are expected to focus on limiting powerful tech companies from building monopolies, as well as on combatting fraud and disinformation, and on protecting human workers.
The White House's "Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights" focuses on data privacy, discrimination, and safety concerns, and many states have passed or are considering bills that seek to regulate AI. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) released a plan in April focused "on building a flexible and resilient AI policy framework across the federal government."
Bipartisan Support: From Altman, to Twitter CEO Elon Musk, to Republicans and Democrats in Congress, many are increasingly wary of AI's potential to be abused.
“Talk in plain English and tell us what rules to implement,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) told Altman at the hearing. Writing in the New York Times Opinion (Left bias), Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan called for regulation while highlighting how "expanding adoption of A.I. risks further locking in the market dominance of large incumbent technology firms." Sixty-one percent of respondents to a recent Reuters (Center) poll said AI could threaten civilization.
How the Media Covered It: Many voices across the political spectrum agree on the need to regulate AI. One Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) writer showed skepticism of Altman's remarks, saying "innovation will be stifled, his company will preserve its market share and be free from competitive pressure, and the congressional staffers and bureaucrats who write the laws and regulations will cash out to work for Open AI."
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"Congress has proved capable at hauling tech executives to Capitol Hill for these type of sessions, but has proved frustratingly incapable of the hard decision-making or reaching agreements across the aisle that goes into making actual laws. While it is a sign of progress that senators at least seem to realize their failures of recent years, it is time for them to act instead of ceding control of tech regulation to Europe."
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The Boston Globe (opinion)
"Just as with the impending arrival of a superior alien civilization, it is imperative that governments cooperate on the regulation of AI. It’s in no country’s interest for any country to develop and release AI systems that humans cannot control. This is the question underlying the open letter: How do we retain power over entities more powerful than us, forever?"
Snippets from the Right
"It is vital that Congress act to provide clarity and guardrails on these issues, rather than simply abdicating its responsibilities to a new government bureaucracy as the European Union is poised to do. Not only would doing so be empty action that simply kicks the can down the road, it would also remove the people’s most direct voice in government from the regulatory equation."
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Fox News (opinion)
"While this explosion of technology can produce significant upsides, including scientific breakthroughs, it also portends the end of critical thinking as we know it."