Congress hears from ChatGPT executive

OpenAI's executive spoke in support of regulating AI - but the details will matter a lot.

The U.S. Capitol building
Pixabay user MotionStudios |

Today, the chief executive of the company behind ChatGPT testified before Congress following heightened concerns around artificial intelligence (AI). Sam Altman’s company, OpenAI, has become a visible industry leader since the introduction of its chatbot late last year. Altman fielded questions about AI’s capabilities, possible regulatory structures, and the future implications of the wide adoption of such a powerful technology.

“We believe that the benefits of the tools we have deployed so far vastly outweigh the risks, but ensuring their safety is vital to our work,” stated Altman. He agreed that oversight is especially important for AI models that can persuade, manipulate, and influence people’s beliefs.

Altman asserted his support of privacy laws to protect AI users, citing that consumers should be able to opt-out of AI using their inputs to train systems as one example. 

Policymakers discussed creating an agency responsible for regulating AI and social media. “Make it effective, make it enforceable, make it real,” urged panel chairman Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

There’s no question that regulating AI is a must for policymakers. The question is how – and the details will matter a lot. So far the AI industry has been writing its own rules. Congress should not settle for adopting their opinions wholesale.


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