He was speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, UAE via video link when he called for a universal regulator to play a crucial role in safeguarding the future advances of AI, to stave off the threat of serious damage to society. The 38-year-old leader referenced the International Atomic Energy Agency as the type of body he envisages for this industry including a distanced relationship with developers, as reported by ABC News.
“There’s some things in there that are easy to imagine where things really go wrong and I’m not that interested in the killer robots walking on the street direction of things going wrong,” said Altman.
“I’m much more interested in the very subtle societal misalignments where we just have these systems out in society and through no particular ill intention, things just go horribly wrong,” he added.
Time for action
Striking the right tone with his audience, Altman indicated companies like OpenAI – the maker of ChatGPT – should be bound by an organization in an oversight role with input from many players in the tech space globally.
“We’re still in the stage of a lot of discussion. So there’s you know, everybody in the world is having a conference. Everyone’s got an idea, a policy paper, and that’s OK,” Altman continued.
“I think we’re still at a time where debate is needed and healthy, but at some point in the next few years, I think we have to move towards an action plan with real buy-in around the world.”
Following his return to OpenAI in December, the boss of the Microsoft-backed company spoke of societal apprehensions about advanced AI, when announcing plans for an AI ethics council. Hence, his comments at the World Government Summit reflect a consistent approach.