As ChatGPT’s popularity explodes, US lawmakers take an interest in it

By Diana Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – ChatGPT, a fast-growing artificial intelligence program, has garnered praise for its ability to quickly write answers to a variety of questions and the attention of U.S. lawmakers with questions about its implications for national security and education attracted.

It has been estimated that ChatGPT has reached 100 million monthly active users just two months after launch, making it the fastest growing consumer application in history and a growing target for regulation.

It was developed by OpenAI, a private company owned by Microsoft Corp. is supported, created and made available to the public free of charge. Its ubiquity has sparked fears that generative AI like ChatGPT could be used to spread disinformation, while educators fear it is being used by students to cheat.

Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat on the House Science Committee, said in a recent op-ed in The New York Times that he’s excited about AI and the “incredible ways it will continue to advance society” but also “freaked out.” . AI, especially AI that remains unaudited and unregulated.”

Lieu introduced a resolution authored by ChatGPT that said Congress should focus on AI “to ensure that the development and deployment of AI is done in a safe and ethical manner and respects the rights and privacy of all Americans and that the benefits of AI are widespread and the risks are minimized.”

In January, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, traveled to Capitol Hill where he met with tech-focused lawmakers including Senators Mark Warner, Ron Wyden and Richard Blumenthal, and Rep. Jake Auchincloss, according to Democratic lawmakers’ advisers.

A Wyden adviser said lawmakers pushed Altman on the need to ensure AI did not contain biases that would lead to discrimination in the real world, such as B. Housing or jobs.

“While Senator Wyden believes that AI has tremendous potential to accelerate innovation and research, he is very focused on ensuring that automated systems do not automate discrimination in the process,” said Keith Chu, an adviser to Wyden.

A second congressional assistant described the discussions as focused on the speed of change in AI and how it could be harnessed.

According to media reports, ChatGPT has already been banned in schools in New York and Seattle for fear of plagiarism. A congressional aide said the concerns they heard from voters came mostly from educators focused on fraud.

OpenAI said in a statement, “We do not want ChatGPT to be used for deceptive purposes in schools or elsewhere, so we are already developing countermeasures to help anyone identify text generated by this system.”

In an interview with Time, Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, said the company welcomes input, including from regulators and governments. “It’s not too early (for regulators to get involved),” she said.

Andrew Burt, managing partner of BNH.AI, a law firm specializing in AI liability, pointed to national security concerns, adding that he has spoken to lawmakers examining whether to regulate ChatGPT and similar AI systems like Google’s Bard Soll said he could not reveal their names.

“The whole value proposition of these types of AI systems is that they can generate content at scales and speeds that humans just can’t,” he said.

“I would expect malicious actors, non-state actors, and state actors who have conflicting interests with the United States to use these systems to generate information that could be false or harmful.”

ChatGPT itself has objected when asked how it should be regulated, saying, “As a neutral AI language model, I have no position on specific laws that may or may not be enacted to regulate AI systems like me.” But then potential focus areas for regulators were listed, such as privacy, bias and fairness, and transparency in how responses are written.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Additional reporting by Suzanne Smalley and Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Chris Sanders and Daniel Wallis)


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