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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been silently advancing for many years, but the overnight viral success of ChatGPT has put the technology on the radar. ChatGPT has become the “fastest-growing consumer application in human history,” according to UBS Research, thanks to generative AI’s ability to process and respond to human commands almost seamlessly.
Artificial intelligence’s widespread adoption has also fueled the growth of tech companies, primarily semiconductor manufacturer Nvidia. The company briefly hit a trillion-dollar valuation in the last week of May, making it the sixth US company to join the Trillion Dollar club.
However, with more and more people using AI in their day-to-day lives, experts and industry leaders have come out to warn against the dangers of the unchecked growth of artificial intelligence.
Who Said What?
Billionaire polymath Elon Musk has been a long-standing advocate of AI regulation. Apart from the fundamental worries of job displacement and ethical implications, Musk has warned of a “Terminator-like outcome” if AI was allowed to be developed unchecked. IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath, on the other hand, has aired concerns regarding substantial disruption in labor markets globally due to the explosive and fast-paced growth of AI.
Sam Altman, the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT, has also voiced similar concerns. “I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong. And we want to be vocal about that,” Altman said during his congressional hearing, “We want to work with the government to prevent that from happening.”
In addition to urging Congress to regulate AI, Altman teamed up with the Center for AI Safety to raise awareness regarding the potential dangers of artificial intelligence. Altman, along with Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates and Microsoft’s Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott, signed an open letter published by the Center for AI Safety, stating, “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war,” with 350 other AI scientists and notable figures in the industry.
The Global Pursuit of AI Regulation
It is safe to say the US is lagging in the global race to regulate AI, as China and the European Union (EU) have already announced concrete steps to commence the crackdown on the unchecked development of artificial intelligence.
The EU is currently slated to launch the first law regulating artificial intelligence in the West. However, as the bloc aims to handle the “foundation models” of multiple AI-based platforms such as ChatGPT, concerns regarding the feasibility of the law are also being raised. For instance, Sam Altman has already warned that he would pull ChatGPT and other assorted tech from Europe if they don’t meet regulatory requirements rather than go through stages of modification.
China is also in the race after the domestic regulators released draft rules to oversee companies that develop AI products. This comes after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba launched its first generative artificial intelligence platform. Musk, following his latest trip to China, also backed this, stating, “I think we had some very productive discussions on artificial intelligence risks, and the need for some oversight and regulation,” he continued “And my understanding from those conversations is that China will be initiating AI regulation in China.”
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