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OpenAI Outlines AI Safety Plan, Allowing Board to Reverse Decisions

Artificial intelligence company OpenAI laid out a framework to address safety in its most advanced models, including allowing the board to reverse safety decisions, according to a plan published on its website Monday.

Microsoft-backed OpenAI will only deploy its latest technology if it is deemed safe in specific areas such as cybersecurity and nuclear threats. The company is also creating an advisory group to review safety reports and send them to the company’s executives and board. While executives will make decisions, the board can reverse those decisions.

Since ChatGPT’s launch a year ago, the potential dangers of AI have been top of mind for both AI researchers and the general public. Generative AI technology has dazzled users with its ability to write poetry and essays, but also sparked safety concerns with its potential to spread disinformation and manipulate humans.

In April, a group of AI industry leaders and experts signed an open letter calling for a six-month pause in developing systems more powerful than OpenAI’s GPT-4, citing potential risks to society. A May Reuters/Ipsos poll found that more than two-thirds of Americans are concerned about the possible negative effects of AI and 61 percent believe it could threaten civilization.

Earlier this month, OpenAI delayed the launch of its custom GPT store until early 2024. OpenAI had introduced the custom GPTs and store during its first developer conference in November. The company is reportedly continuing to “make improvements” to GPTs based on customer feedback.

Last month, OpenAI also underwent turmoil when its board fired CEO Sam Altman. Altman then returned to the company days after his ouster while the board was revamped.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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