Dubai: At some point, a global system for AI oversight will be essential, and the UAE, for various reasons, would be well-positioned to lead discussions on this matter, Open AI Co-Founder and CEO Sam Altman said at the World Government Summit on Tuesday.
He said, “I often use the example of the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, as a model for handling the impact of the most powerful AI systems. Establishing auditing and safety measures before deploying superintelligence or artificial general intelligence (AGI) is crucial,” said Altman.
“For various reasons, the UAE would be well-positioned to lead discussions on this matter. I propose hosting a one-day conference where global leaders can brainstorm and strategise on these important issues,” Altman told Omar Sultan Al Olama, the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Remote Work Applications.
Altman participated in the conversation with the Minister remotely. He had first proposed the idea for a watchdog for global AI systems last year.
Where does Al regulation stand?
On AI regulation, Altman said, “We are still in a stage of extensive discussion, which is not necessarily bad.”
Conferences, ideas, and policy papers are abundant worldwide, fostering healthy debate. However, in the next few years, there is a need to transition towards an action plan regarding AI regulations.
He said, “Elaborating on what is needed to make this happen is challenging (at this stage). There are numerous ideas, and various stakeholders are contributing to the discussions. The complexity of the matter requires collaboration, and the world leaders must come together to determine the way forward.”
When Al Olama asked Altman what users can expect from ChatGPT 5, he said, “It is going to be smarter, it will be multimodal, it will be faster. But what I think matters is it’s going to be smarter.” Emphasising the importance of enhanced intelligence, he notes that the model’s general nature means improvement across various tasks, making it better overall. OpenAI has made available GPT3.5 (for free) and GPT4 for paid users.
Next era of scientific discovery
So, how close is OpenAI to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems like drug discovery or curing cancer?
Altman said, “The honest answer is we don’t know. This is new science. We’re always discovering new things, but the discovery rate is incredible. The rate of change is incredible, but it’s hard to know exactly how far we have to go.”
Altman said scientists using OpenAI tools report significant productivity boosts; however, these are difficult to quantify. Given the novelty of these tools, the potential impact on scientific discovery remains unknown.
AI in education
That said, AI has been a game changer in education. Institutions have embraced Chat GPT, and it has been one of the most transformative technologies for the sector.
Altman said the application hasn’t increased cheating rates but instead enabled students and professors. He commended governments, particularly the UAE, for embracing these models and seeking ways to enhance public services, reform processes, and improve sectors like education and healthcare.