Last week, the head of OpenAI, the artificial intelligence company that makes ChatGPT, told a Senate panel that government intervention will be critical to mitigating the risks of increasingly powerful AI systems.
“As this technology advances, we understand that people are anxious about how it could change the way we live. We are too,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman told the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Altman proposed the formation of a U.S. or global agency that would license the most powerful AI systems and have the authority to “take that license away and ensure compliance with safety standards.”
Schumer said Congress needs to move fast because the technology is advancing so quickly. He has also expressed concerns about China’s own efforts to regulate artificial intelligence, calling that “a wake-up call to the nation.”
In April, Schumer proposed a framework for legislation that would require companies to allow independent experts to review and test technologies before they are released publicly, and give users access to those results.
On Thursday, Schumer said the group of senators — including Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Republican Sens. Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Todd Young of Indiana — decided that any approach must be bipartisan.
“If harnessed responsibly, AI has the power to do tremendous things for the public good,” Schumer said. “It can unlock unimaginable marvels in medicine, business, national security, science and so many other areas of life. But if left unchecked, AI has the power to do tremendous, tremendous harm.”