OpenAI, the company behind the ChatGPT AI chatbot, has announced that it will provide grants totaling $1 million to support experiments in democratic processes aimed at governing AI software and addressing issues of bias and other factors.
The grants, amounting to $100,000 each, will be awarded to recipients who propose compelling frameworks for tackling important questions, such as whether AI should critique public figures and how it should consider the “median individual” globally, as stated in a blog post by OpenAI.
Critics have raised concerns about inherent bias in AI systems like ChatGPT, which can stem from the data used to train them. Instances of AI software producing racist or sexist outputs have been identified by users, and worries are growing about the potential for AI, in conjunction with search engines like Google and Bing, to disseminate convincing but inaccurate information.
OpenAI, benefiting from a $10 billion investment by Microsoft, has been at the forefront of advocating for AI regulation. However, it recently expressed the possibility of withdrawing from the European Union due to proposed regulations.
OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, stated that while the current draft of the EU AI Act is perceived as overly restrictive, there are indications that it might be revised. Discussions regarding the matter are ongoing.
It should be noted that the grants offered by OpenAI do not encompass a substantial amount of AI research funding. Salaries for AI engineers and other professionals in this rapidly expanding field often surpass $100,000 and can exceed $300,000.
OpenAI emphasized the need for AI systems to benefit all of humanity and be inclusive, which led to the launch of the grant program as a first step in that direction. The outcomes of this initiative may influence OpenAI’s perspectives on AI governance, although any resulting recommendations will not be binding.
Microsoft, in addition to OpenAI, has recently voiced support for comprehensive AI regulation while committing to integrating the technology into its own products. This places Microsoft in competition with OpenAI, Google, and various startups in the race to offer AI solutions to consumers and businesses.
AI has already been implicated in several widely believed hoaxes, with a recent fake viral image of an explosion near the Pentagon briefly impacting the stock market.
Despite the calls for increased regulation, Congress has yet to pass substantial legislation to effectively rein in the power of major tech companies.