OpenAI CEO acknowledges risks of AI and admits to being ‘a little bit scared’

Samuel Altman, CEO of OpenAI, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law May 16, 2023 in Washington, DC. The committee held an oversight hearing to examine A.I., focusing on rules for artificial intelligence. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Samuel Altman, CEO of OpenAI, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law May 16, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

OAN’s Roy Francis
12:32 PM – Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The CEO of OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, Sam Altman, believed that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will reshape society as a whole, but said that it comes with very real dangers as well.


“We’ve got to be careful here,” Altman said in an interview with ABC News. “I think people should be happy that we are a little bit scared of this.”

Altman also appeared before a the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday, admitting that his greatest fear is harmful disruptions for people. He also acknowledged to the Senators that AI has a big potential downside if proper regulations and precautions were not taken.

“My worst fears are that we cause significant – we, the field, the technology industry – cause significant harm to the world,” Altman told the senators. “I think that could happen in a lot of different ways. It’s why we started the company. It think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong and we want to be vocal about that. We want to work with the government to prevent that from happening. But we try to be very clear-eyed about what the downside case is and the work that we have to mitigate that.”

Altman expressed that the government should create a regulating body to control and regulate AI as it becomes more advanced and developed. He admitted that AI will have a significant impact on jobs moving forward, however he could not say exactly what it would look like.

“Like with all technological revolutions, I expect there to be significant impact on jobs, but exactly what that impact looks like is very difficult to predict,” he said. “I believe that there will be far greater jobs on the other side of this, and the jobs of today will get better. I think it will entirely automate away some jobs, and it will create new ones that we believe will be much better.”

Another issue with AI that was brought by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is the possible impact on future elections, and campaign ads in an effort to sway people with false information.

Altman agreed with the senator saying that it is a “significant area of concern.” He also told ABC News that he is worried AI could be used “for large-scale disinformation.”

“I’m particularly worried that these models could be used for large-scale disinformation,” Altman said in his interview. “Now that they’re getting at writing computer code, [models] could be used for offensive cyberattacks.”

However, the OpenAI CEO said that ChatGPT is already functioning as a “co-pilot” for programmers, and that his company is working on similar programs for “every profession.”

Altman admitted that people would lose their jobs in the process, however he said that this opens up the possibility for a better kind of job for them.

“We can have a much higher quality of life, standard of living,” Altman said. “People need time to update, to react, to get used to this technology.”

The OpenAI CEO went on to express that one of his main worries regarding AI is the fact that other “bad actors” will be creating this technology who wont be putting the same “safety limits that we put on it.”

“A thing that I do worry about is […] we’re not going to be the only creator of this technology,” Altman said. “There will be other people who don’t put some of the safety limits that we put on it.”

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