Former OpenAI Board Members Call For Stricter AI Regulation To 'Tame Market Forces:' 'For Humanity's Sake'


Former board members of OpenAI, Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner, have expressed their concerns about the lack of stringent regulation in the AI industry, suggesting that self-governance is not sufficient in the face of profit-driven pressures.

What Happened: McCauley and Toner, who became part of OpenAI’s board in 2018 and 2021 respectively, initially supported the company’s self-governance model. However, they now argue that this approach is not robust enough to resist the lure of profit incentives, in a new opinion piece in The Economist.

The former board members pointed to the dismissal of OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, last November, attributing it to persistent patterns of behavior that they believe compromised the board’s supervision of critical decisions and internal safety measures.

They also expressed apprehension about Altman’s return to the company and the exit of senior safety-focused personnel.

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They emphasized the need for governments to develop effective AI regulatory frameworks, arguing against the sole control of AI development by private tech firms. McCauley and Toner also cautioned against minimal government regulation of AI, drawing comparisons with the laissez-faire approach to the internet in the 1990s.

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Why It Matters: The concerns raised by McCauley and Toner are rooted in a series of events at OpenAI.

It's worth noting that Altman, Tesla Inc. chief Elon Musk, and Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai have all struck the same note in this regard, calling AI "too important to not regulate well."

Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced plans to introduce a legislative roadmap for AI regulation in the U.S.

The European Union has also taken a proactive approach to tackling this by enacting the world's first AI regulation with built-in compliance triggers to punish "unacceptable risk."

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo courtesy: Shutterstock

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