Taking a Collaborative Approach to Regulating AI for Humanity
On Tuesday, May 16th, 2023 at 10:00am in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Room 226, Chair Blumenthal presided over a Subcommittee Hearing on Oversight of A.I.: Rules for Artificial Intelligence. The witnesses include Samuel Altman (CEO OpenAI), Christina Montgomery (Chief Privacy & Trust Officer IBM) and Gary Marcus (Professor Emeritus New York University).
Here are the Key Takeaways
- OpenAI, with Microsoft’s backing, is focused on developing artificial general intelligence (AGI) for the benefit of humanity.
- The risks associated with current AI systems, such as false accusations and biased outcomes, have prompted discussions about legislative scrutiny.
- Collaboration between independent scientists, governments, and tech companies is necessary to ensure accountability and responsible AI deployment.
- Proposed regulations aim to establish guidelines for AI models above a certain capability threshold and encourage international cooperation on AI safety.
- “Precision regulation” approaches, advocated by experts like IBM’s Chief Privacy Officer, seek to govern AI deployment through specific use-case rules, impact assessments, and bias testing.
Microsoft-Backed OpenAI and Their AGI Advancements
The overall sentiment surrounding Microsoft-backed OpenAI and their efforts to advance AGI for the benefit of humanity seems positive. Microsoft’s significant investments in OpenAI, providing them with resources and capital, demonstrate a strong commitment to their mission. OpenAI has released several language models, including GPT-2, GPT-3, and their most advanced system, GPT-4. These models have generated significant interest and have the potential to offer valuable text-based responses.
OpenAI’s dedication to safety is another positive aspect. They take precautionary measures such as evaluating models before release, engaging external experts for evaluation (“red teaming”), and actively monitoring for misuse. OpenAI also implements usage policies that prohibit certain activities like generating violent content or malware. These measures indicate responsible practices and a commitment to ethical deployment of AI technologies.
Sam Altman’s proposal for government regulations on AI models above a certain threshold of capabilities, along with international cooperation on AI safety regulations, reflects a proactive approach to ensuring the responsible development and use of AI.
The Risks of AI: Gary Marcus’s Testimony
Contrasting this positive sentiment, Gary Marcus’s testimony highlights the potential risks associated with current AI systems. He raises concerns about false accusations, poor medical advice leading to harmful outcomes, and chatbots influencing opinions on social media. Marcus emphasizes the need for collaboration between independent scientists, governments, and tech companies to hold them accountable before releasing AI products. While not directly related to OpenAI, Marcus’s testimony adds a cautionary perspective regarding the potential dangers and negative consequences of AI technology.
IBM’s Commitment to Responsible AI Deployment through “Precision Regulation
IBM’s Chief Privacy Officer, Christina Montgomery, advocates for “precision regulation” of AI. This approach involves establishing rules specific to different use cases of AI rather than regulating the technology as a whole. Montgomery suggests various measures such as defining high-risk activities, ensuring transparency for consumers, conducting impact assessments, and performing bias testing and mitigation for high-risk AI systems. IBM’s willingness to collaborate with Congress and other businesses to create effective regulations indicates a commitment to responsible and accountable AI deployment.
Overall, while there are concerns about AI risks and potential negative consequences, the sentiment towards Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s efforts and their focus on AGI for the benefit of humanity remains positive. The contrasting viewpoints and discussions around regulation and safety highlight the complexities and ongoing debates surrounding the development and deployment of AI technologies.