During a recent hearing by a US Senate subcommittee, experts including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, IBM chief privacy and trust officer Christina Montgomery, and New York University professor emeritus Dr Gary Marcus were quizzed about potential risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI) and how it should be regulated. Lawmakers expressed concerns over the potential for AI-generated inaccuracies and misinformation, political bias, and copyright infringement.
Altman underscored the importance of “regulatory intervention by governments” to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful AI models. To this end, he suggested that an agency or agencies should be empowered to create and enforce rules for the AI industry, issuing AI companies licenses and revoking those licenses should their technologies prove problematic. Dr Marcus agreed, arguing that we “probably need a cabinet-level organization” to regulate AI and likening AI models to “bulls in a china shop”.
Calls for regulation of AI art generation and copyright
One area of concern raised during the hearing was AI art generation and copyright. Altman informed senators that OpenAI is working on a copyright system that would pay artists if their works were used to generate new art, stating that “artists deserve control”. He also suggested that new regulations should require AI-generated images to disclose that they were created with AI tools.
While Altman and Dr Marcus agreed on the need for regulation, Dr Marcus warned against “regulatory capture”, where new regulation could inadvertently create an AI monopoly. Senator Blumenthal, the subcommittee chairman, cautioned that while the government could “create ten new agencies”, without adequate resources, large AI companies would “run circles” around them.