Another point left unsaid was that, given the economics of building large-scale AI models, the industry may be witnessing the emergence of a new type of tech monopoly.
As a researcher who studies social media and artificial intelligence, I believe that Altman’s suggestions have highlighted important issues but don’t provide answers in and of themselves. Regulation would be helpful, but in what form? Licensing also makes sense, but for whom? And any effort to regulate the AI industry will need to account for the companies’ economic power and political sway.
An agency to regulate AI?
Lawmakers and policymakers across the world have already begun to address some of the issues raised in Altman’s testimony. The European Union’s AI Act is based on a risk model that assigns AI applications to three categories of risk: unacceptable, high risk, and low or minimal risk. This categorization recognizes that tools for social scoring by governments and automated tools for hiring pose different risks than those from the use of AI in spam filters, for example.
The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology likewise has an AI risk management framework that was created with extensive input from multiple stakeholders, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of American Scientists, as well as other business and professional associations, technology companies and think tanks.