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Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, lauds UAE’s efforts to develop AI

He reiterated his concerns regarding potential dangers of AI; suggested building an international agency to regulate the new technology

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, lauds UAE’s efforts to develop AI
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

ChatGPT, created by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, has taken the world by storm. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, on a world tour to brainstorm further development of the technology and solidify partnerships with countries across the globe, visited Abu Dhabi on Tuesday and lauded the country for making progress in AI.

The OpenAI CEO met Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, and President of the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, Eric Xing, to strengthen partnerships between the government of UAE and OpenAI to develop new-age technology powered by AI.

During a conference in the capital city, hosted by Hub71, the government-backed startup ecosystem, he appreciated UAE’s “desire, commitment, and willingness to participate” in adapting and developing the technology.

However, he was not in favor of going public. “When we develop superintelligence, we are likely to make some decisions that most investors would look at very strangely. I don’t want to be sued by the public market, so no, not that interested.”

Altman also shared concerns regarding the rise of potential dangers after achieving superintelligence. On developing regulations for AI, he said it was vital to have high-level safeguards. He spoke about creating a global coalition to regulate the development and use of AI globally as it poses an “existential risk” to humanity.

“We face serious risk. We face existential risk. The challenge that the world has is how we’re going to manage those risks and make sure we still get to enjoy those tremendous benefits. No one wants to destroy the world,” said Altman.

But on a positive note, Altman said that it was possible to keep humans involved in the development of AI instead of imagining a future where AI is entirely independent in making its decisions.

“It would be a mistake to take humans out of the loop … the future of humanity is decided by humanity, and that is an active decision we can make,” he said.

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