Senator Makes Point About A.I. With Fake Audio of Himself

Richard Blumenthal uses ChatGPT to create clip at hearing
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2023 12:30 PM CDT

Sen. Richard Blumenthal kicked off a hearing about artificial intelligence in unusual fashion Tuesday: He played a fake clip of himself speaking about the subject, one generated by ChatGPT, reports the Wall Street Journal. See the moment here, via Politico. The Democrat took note of how real it sounded, but added, “What if it had provided an endorsement of Ukraine surrendering or Vladimir Putin’s leadership?” he said. “The prospect is more than a little scary.” Meanwhile, the key witness testifying before Blumenthal's Senate Judiciary subcommittee Tuesday was Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, which makes ChatGPT. And he pushed for government oversight of what he called a "printing press moment" in history.

“We think that regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models,” said Altman, per CNN. To Blumenthal's point about the dangers of abuse, Altman said the ability to manipulate voters with false information is among his greatest concerns. "We’re going to face an election next year and these models are getting better," he said. Altman suggested the creation of a "new agency that licenses any effort above a certain scale of capabilities and could take that license away and ensure compliance with safety standards.” It's important, he said, because “if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong.” (More artificial intelligence stories.)

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