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OpenAI's CTO, Mira Murati, on balancing benefits & risks of AI

The rise of AI technology has captivated the public's imagination, with companies like OpenAI leading the way in creating software that can answer complex questions, produce content and generate art. However, as the technology evolves, so do the potential threats of unregulated AI. In a recent interview with TIME, OpenAI's Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Mira Murati, discussed the limitations and challenges of working with AI, the software's untapped potential, and the need for proper regulations to govern its use.

ChatGPT, OpenAI's AI chatbot, has caused significant hype for its ability to answer questions and engage in conversations that are eerily human-like. In fact, the newly-released GPT-4 scores in the top ranks for at least 34 different tests in fields such as macroeconomics, writing, math, and virology, exhibiting human-level performance on the majority of these professional and academic exams.

However, as with all AI technologies, ChatGPT has its limitations. Murati explains that ChatGPT is essentially a large conversational model that may make up facts in a very confident way, which presents a core challenge. Nevertheless, she is confident that it can revolutionize the way people learn, making education more personalized and accessible.

Murati further acknowledges that it is important to consider the ethical and philosophical questions that arise with its use. “This is a unique moment in time where we do have agency in how it shapes society. And it goes both ways: the technology shapes us and we shape it,” said Murati. This includes questions about how to govern the use of AI in a way that is aligned with human values and how to prevent malicious actors from exploiting the technology. 

The CTO further believes that companies like OpenAI have a responsibility to bring these issues to the public consciousness in a controlled and responsible way. However, she acknowledges that more input is needed from regulators, governments, and other stakeholders to ensure that AI is used safely and responsibly. While there is always a fear that government involvement can stifle innovation, Murati believes that “it is not too early” for policymakers and regulators to get involved and contribute to an effective governance of the AI.

So, stemming from the interview with Mira Murati, we come to understand that AI’s impact will only continue to grow in the future. While there is still uncertainty regarding how AI will be regulated, we should welcome this transformative technology with open arms while also exercising caution. It is essential to recognize that although AI can bring tremendous benefits to society, we should be proactively taking steps to mitigate its potential negative consequences.