ChatGPT Owner Questioned Over Risks Around False Answers

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OpenAI is being questioned by US regulators over the risks to consumers from ChatGPT generating false information. The inquiry is a sign of the rising regulatory scrutiny of AI technology.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) contacted the company requesting information on how it addresses risks to people’s reputations, and CEO Sam Altman said the company will work with the FTC.

While companies worldwide are racing to make their own version of AI chatbots, the tech is also generating fierce debates over the data it uses, the accuracy of the responses, and whether the company violated authors’ rights as it was training the technology.

The FTC’s letter inquires what steps OpenAI has taken to address the chatbot’s potential to “generate statements about real individuals that are false, misleading, disparaging or harmful”.

According to BBC News, Altman stated that OpenAI had spent years on safety research and months making ChatGPT “safer and more aligned before releasing it”. Altman appeared before a hearing at Congress earlier this year, where he called to regulate the emerging industry and recommended that a new agency be formed to oversee AI safety.

FTC CEO Lina Khan spoke in a five-hour hearing in Congress on Thursday. “We’ve heard about reports where people’s sensitive information is showing up in response to an inquiry from somebody else,” Ms Khan said. “We’ve heard about libel, defamatory statements, flatly untrue things that are emerging. That’s the type of fraud and deception that we are concerned about,” she added.

ChatGPT is facing scrutiny from other directions as well, being blamed for copyright infringement of authors and content creators and was even banned in Italy for a period of time due to privacy concerns.