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OpenAI CEO says if artificial intelligence 'goes wrong, it can go quite wrong'

In testimony on Tuesday before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee about oversight of artificial intelligence, OpenAI CEO Samuel Altman spoke about his concerns regarding AI, saying, “I think if this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong.”

Video transcript

SAMUEL ALTMAN: Yeah. Look, we have tried to be very clear about the magnitude of the risks here. I think jobs and employment and what we're all going to do with our time really matters. I agree that when we get to very powerful systems, the landscape will change. I think I'm just more optimistic that we are incredibly creative and we find new things to do with better tools. And that will keep happening.

My worst fears are that we cause significant-- we, the field, the technology, the industry cause significant harm to the world. I think that could happen in a lot of different ways. It's why we started the company. It's a big part of why I'm here today and why we've been here in the past and we've been able to spend some time with you.

I 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 do to mitigate that.