Is AI coming for your job? Here's what experts, OpenAI CEO say amid calls for government regulation

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Wednesday, May 17, 2023
OpenAI CEO tells Congress to regulate AI amid concern of job impacts
"I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong," OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified before Congress about his company's chatbot tool, ChatGPT.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KGO) -- In a hearing on Tuesday, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman testified before Congress about his company's chatbot tool, ChatGPT.

Senator Richard Blumenthal said Congress failed to meet the moment to properly regulate social media, now they have an obligation to do it on AI.

"Perhaps the biggest nightmare is the looming new industrial revolution - the displacement of millions of workers," Senator Blumenthal said.

The hearing was to discuss a path forward on the extreme impact it will have on jobs.

"There will be an impact on jobs, we try to be very clear about that," Altman said. "And I think it will require partnership between the industry and government but mostly action by government."

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Altman suggests Congress consider licensing and testing requirements for AI companies.

"I believe there will be far greater jobs on the other side of this," Altman said. "And that the jobs of today will get better, I think it's important first of all - I think it's important to understand and think about Chat GPT 4 as a tool, not a creature."

The tool is already coming for current job openings. Earlier this month, a Palo Alto City Councilmember brought up the technology during a meeting about the city budget.

"So I wonder with AI using Chat GPT, do we need as many people as we have? Do we need to have as many vacancies as we have?" Councilmember Greg Tanaka said.

Levent Ertaul, professor and chair of the Computer Science Department for CSUEB said AI professionals are discussing the future of government with AI.

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Italy announced that they are temporarily banning the latest version of Chat GPT from San Francisco-based company Open AI.

"If AI is making the major decisions for us, what is going to be the functionality of the government?," Ertaul said.

He said certain jobs will be replaced.

"If you look at transportation and delivery, we're not going to be able to see mostly taxi drivers," Ertaul said.

Ertaul said AI will mostly transform jobs.

"I believe that the software engineering will transform into a kind of system design concept rather than hard-coding data or actually writing the code itself. So the small things are going to be done by the AI, but the large things will be done by a team of the computer science people," Ertaul said.

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SJSU Engineering professor Ahmed Banafa said new jobs will be created from AI.

"AI policies, ethics that will be another thing, human interaction. There is a new category in engineering called prompt engineers. Prompt engineers is people who will have the ability to make sure that when you are typing or talking to the machine, the machine will understand you," Banafa said.

He suggests for anyone graduating in the field of software to know about the new AI.

During the Senate hearing, Gary Marcus, a former New York University professor, was vocal about the risks ahead.

"It has always been the case in the past that we've had more jobs than new professions come in as new technologies come in. I think this one is going to be different and the real question is over what time scale? Is it going to be 10 years, is it going to be a hundred years? And I don't think anyone knows the answer to that question," Marcus said.

This hearing was just one of many intended to 'write the rules of AI.'

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