OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman has publicly responded to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) investigation into the company’s AI chatbot, ChatGPT. The FTC’s probe was examining whether OpenAI has breached consumer protection laws, potentially putting users’ personal data and reputations at risk.
In a series of tweets,Sam expressed disappointment over the FTC’s approach, “It is very disappointing to see the FTC’s request start with a leak and does not help build trust.” Despite this, he affirmed OpenAI’s commitment to cooperate with the FTC, emphasizing the company’s dedication to ensuring their technology is safe, pro-consumer, and compliant with the law.
The FTC’s investigation into OpenAI includes a review of a security incident disclosed by the company in March 2023. A bug in OpenAI’s system had allowed some users to view others’ payment-related information and chat history. The FTC has issued a 20-page demand for records, seeking more information about OpenAI’s handling of potential issues related to their AI models.
OpenAI’s CEO highlighted the company’s rigorous safety measures, stating that GPT-4, their latest AI model, was built on years of safety research. He noted that OpenAI spent over six months after the initial training of GPT-4 to enhance its safety and alignment before its release. The CEO also assured that OpenAI prioritizes user privacy and designs its systems to learn about the world, not private individuals.
The CEO further emphasized OpenAI’s transparency about the limitations of their technology, especially when they fall short. He pointed out that their capped-profits structure means they aren’t incentivized to make unlimited returns.
The FTC’s investigation follows a request from the Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP) in March 2023 to investigate OpenAI for alleged violations of consumer protection rules. The CAIDP raised concerns that the rollout of AI text generation tools has been “biased, deceptive, and a risk to public safety,” as reported by The Verge.
The FTC’s investigation into OpenAI marks a significant development in the agency’s ongoing interest in regulating AI tools. It has previously warned that biased AI systems could draw enforcement action. This investigation of OpenAI, a leading player in the generative AI field, signifies a major escalation in the FTC’s efforts.