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Disputes over how to address artificial intelligence’s potential to upend life as we know it contributed to the stunning ouster of OpenAI’s co-founder and CEO Sam Altman.
If fears of AI dystopia convinced OpenAI’s board to remove their top executive — and the industry’s most effective spokesperson — it’s important to consider how these concerns are seen by Washington regulators.
For The top policymakers in the White House, Securities Exchange Commission and CFPB Director Rohit Chopra told MM Monday that financial institutions and market participants have been strategizing on how to handle any problems that AI could cause. The Reaction to Altman’s surprise firing — and his subsequent hiring by Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor — underscores how AI’s future may rest on the whims of a few large companies and their boards.
“There is a race to develop the foundational AI models. There won’t be tons of those models. It may in fact be a natural oligopoly,” Chopra added that these programs could be applied across the entire economy.
“The fact that Big Tech companies are now overlapping with the major foundational AI models is adding even more questions about what we do to make sure that they do not have outsized power,” He said.
Though there has been much talk about the need for AI specific regulation, discussions on how to address the existential challenges that the fast-evolving technology could pose to the economy are much more urgent now that internal debates over OpenAI’s future have spilled into the public. (OpenAI’s interim CEO Emmett Shear said on Twitter that the board was not removed over any specific disagreement on the safety of OpenAI’s tech.)
“I don’t think it’s quite known what all the risks are that are out there,” CFTC Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero told MM. “It’s evolving so quickly that I think the first thing to do is to come at the concept from high-level principles that always apply whenever we’re looking at things; risk management, governance.”
In Financial markets in contextAI programs can automate trading and lending at financial institutions “on steroids,” Chopra said. If These programs make their own decisions on the basis of incoming data, it “could actually lead to very procyclical effects that would magnify tremors into much larger financial quakes,” He said.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has already begun to draft legislation that would assign the Financial Stability Oversight Council with the task of identifying AI risks and how to respond.
There Also, there are questions about Microsoft’s subsequent hiring of Altman and other OpenAI executives. Some speculate that the move could have a significant impact on the AI landscape. Given the level access, some believe the personnel changes are similar to an acquisition. Microsoft has to OpenAI’s tech.
That It could be a hard argument to make. OpenAI’s technology still belongs to OpenAI and, as New York Magazine’s Kevin Dugan noted, replicating its successes under Microsoft’s corporate ausp