Discussed AI regulation with Prime Minister: OpenAI’s Sam Altman

The founder of the firm behind ChatGPT was on a two-day India visit amid a busy international itinerary. 

June 08, 2023 09:46 am | Updated 08:55 pm IST - NEW DELHI

File photo of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman

File photo of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman | Photo Credit: AP

Sam Altman, the Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI, the firm best known for its ChatGPT AI-enabled chatbot product, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday. Mr. Altman said the discussion included “the need to think about global regulation to make sure we prevent some of the downsides [of AI] from happening” to an audience at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. 

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Mr. Altman was reiterating themes that he is discussing throughout his packed week-long international tour, with previous engagements in Israel and the United Arab Emirates. “It really is amazing to watch what’s happening in India, with the embrace of AI,” Mr. Altman said. “I used to work at [startup incubator] YCombinator, and we were always amazed and quite grateful to the quality of Indian startups,” Mr. Altman added.

While Mr. Altman has pushed lawmakers in the U.S. and elsewhere on regulating AI, he did urge that the regulation should not be limiting, walking a tightrope between being at the forefront of advocating for limits on AI while also heading a firm that runs the most popular AI application of the day. “As it [AI] gets more powerful, we will need some guardrails on it,” Mr. Altman stated. “But I worry about over regulating and stopping what is an incredible, incredible Cambrian explosion of talent and creativity,” he said.

Reuters adds:

OpenAI is against regulating smaller startups in the field of artificial intelligence, Sam Altman, Chief Executive of the firm behind ChatGPT, said at a conference in India's New Delhi.

"We have explicitly said there should be no regulation on smaller companies. The only regulation we have called for is on ourselves and people bigger," he said, speaking at the event hosted by national daily Economic Times.

Mr. Altman is on a whirlwind tour around the world, meeting heads of states of several countries.

OpenAI has so far raised $10 billion from Microsoft at a valuation of almost $30 billion as it invests in building computing capacity.

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