Policymakers in the United States and beyond are proposing regulations for novel mass-market artificial intelligence systems.
The calls for government oversight come after ChatGPT, a language processing tool that knowledge workers are leveraging to complete tasks such as writing emails and debugging code in a matter of moments, garners worldwide popularity. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) said in an opinion piece for The New York Times that he is “enthralled” by the advent of artificial intelligence but simultaneously “freaked out” when the technology is “left unchecked and unregulated.”
The lawmaker, who holds a computer science degree from Stanford University, specifically referenced falsified photos and videos known as deepfakes, discrimination against racial minorities, and the radicalization of “foreign terrorists and domestic white supremacists.” Lieu called for a “dedicated agency” to regulate artificial intelligence since technology experts would be equipped to introduce statutes more quickly than legislators. “Congress has been slow to react when it comes to technological issues,” he wrote. “But things are changing.”
Amid worries about the possible dangers of mass-market artificial intelligence, many professionals find that ChatGPT increases their efficiency with mundane tasks. Some 27% of employees at prominent consulting, technology, and financial services companies have already used the system in various capacities, according to a survey from Fishbowl.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan announced Friday that the United States and the European Union signed an agreement to “drive responsible advancements” in artificial intelligence to address challenges such as extreme weather and climate, electric grid optimization, and emergency response. The White House previously unveiled an “AI Bill of Rights” blueprint to combat privacy breaches and discrimination.
“Automated systems have brought about extraordinary benefits, from technology that helps farmers grow food more efficiently and computers that predict storm paths, to algorithms that can identify diseases in patients,” the framework said. “This important progress must not come at the price of civil rights or democratic values, foundational American principles that President Biden has affirmed as a cornerstone of his administration.”
OpenAI, the company which produced ChatGPT, recently announced that Microsoft would pour billions more dollars into the solution in the wake of investments offered for the platform in 2019 and 2021. Researchers have begun examining the tool’s potential on exams considered difficult for even the brightest students: ChatGPT performed “at or near the passing threshold” for all three components of the United States Medical Licensing Exam without “any specialized training or reinforcement,” according to one research paper. The system also earned passing scores on the multistate multiple choice section of the Bar Exam, according to another study.
The widespread popularity of ChatGPT in the workforce has led to a debate in the education sector over the use of artificial intelligence in the classroom. More than 89% of students have used ChatGPT to help with a homework question, while 48% have admitted to using the system during an at-home test or quiz, according to a survey from Study.com. Educators are broadly in favor of the system: while a majority are concerned about cheating, roughly 66% believe students should be able to access ChatGPT, while 21% have used the system themselves for applications such as drafting essay prompts or creating lesson plans.