• | 3:51 pm

OpenAI’s Sam Altman says AI regulations shouldn’t stifle innovation

OpenAI CEO makes a case for a delicate balance between regulation and innovation, emphasizing the need for a global framework

OpenAI’s Sam Altman says AI regulations shouldn’t stifle innovation
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

Governments must cautiously regulate big companies to ensure AI innovation and gains are not hindered, said Sam Altman, the founder and chief executive of OpenAI that created the revolutionary chatbot ChatGPT.

OpenAI is a company that focuses on research and deployment of artificial general intelligence (AGI) and implementing it responsibly for the maximum benefit of the world at large, Altman said, adding that a framework is required to govern such technologies.

“They affect all of us, they affect the globe. Let’s have a system in place so that we can audit people who are doing it, we can license it. We can have safety tests that you have to pass as you are training these systems before you deploy them, Altman said at The Economic Times Conversations.

Smaller companies and open-source models need the freedom to grow, Altman said. “This is why we’ve said that they should not be subject to regulation.”

On the scale of regulations required, Altman drew parallels with nuclear power and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Nuclear materials also offer some real danger as well as some real benefits.

Altman noted that as ChatGPT and OpenAI’s generative engines are “truly general purpose,” the technology is being integrated into the workflow of enterprises as a “very powerful tool”.

The founder of ChatGPT, a chatbot that’s transforming search and threatens to disrupt the technological order, highlighted that India has been an early adopter of this technology.

“There has been a lot of early adoption and real enthusiasm from users. We are very delighted,” he said while referring to the integration of ChatGPT’s abilities with WhatsApp and its use by farmers in India to access government services that were otherwise inaccessible.

India’s ministry of electronics and information technology’s Bhashini portal, which was launched in July last year as part of the government’s National Language Translation Mission, seeks to transform Indian language technologies as a digital public good. 

About 260 open-source API-based AI models are available for machine translation, text-to-speech conversion, and speech-to-text conversion in 11 Indian languages and English on the portal, whose capabilities have been integrated with OpenAI.

The chatbot now allows users to ask about government welfare schemes in regional languages and get guidance on accessing them.

Pointing to the sci-fi-related concerns about AI, Altman said these are extreme and may turn out to be unfounded.

Altman was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister of electronic and information technology Ashwini Vaishnaw, minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar, and other senior government officials.

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