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Business News/ Companies / Larry Summers on AI governance: OpenAI must cooperate with govt for national security and regulatory issues
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Larry Summers on AI governance: OpenAI must cooperate with govt for national security and regulatory issues

Larry Summers, a board member at OpenAI, emphasized the significance of the company's work and the importance of operating as a corporation with a conscience.

Larry Summers, a new addition to the OpenAI board of members. (Ishant)Premium
Larry Summers, a new addition to the OpenAI board of members. (Ishant)

Larry Summers, recently appointed as a board member at the artificial intelligence startup OpenAI, expressed the significance of the company's work as "extraordinarily important." He emphasized the importance of OpenAI operating as a "corporation with a conscience."

According to a report from Bloomberg, Larry Summers stated on Bloomberg Television's Wall Street Week with David Westin that OpenAI has to be prepared to cooperate with key government officials on regulatory issues, on national security issues, on development of technology issues.

The statements provide insight into the focus of Summers, a former US treasury secretary, in his role at the Silicon Valley startup. He officially became a member of OpenAI's board this week, following a turbulent leadership dispute that captured the attention of Silicon Valley. 

On November 17, the board dismissed CEO Sam Altman, only to later reach an agreement for his reinstatement. Subsequently, a majority of the board responsible for Altman's dismissal has resigned, making way for a new set of directors, including Summers and former Salesforce Inc. co-CEO Bret Taylor.

When questioned about his strategy for ensuring the safe governance of the company, Summers responded, "I've been on the job two days," highlighting that his on-boarding packet for the position is expected to arrive this weekend.

Summers sits on a couple of tech boards already: Block Inc., Jack Dorsey’s payments firm, and the software company Skillsoft Corp. He was named an adviser to powerhouse venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in 2011, but has not been publicly involved with its recent investments. 

Moreover, Summers led the Treasury Department in the Clinton administration and worked as an economic adviser in the Obama administration, serving as president of Harvard University in between. He is now a paid contributor to Bloomberg Television.

The few comments he has made about AI have centered on the labor impact. 

In 2018, Summers disputed the claims from then Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that AI would not replace American jobs for 50 to 100 years. “The robots are coming," Summers wrote in the Washington Post. That year, he also warned of economic catastrophe if the US “loses its lead" in biotech and AI to China.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

 

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Published: 03 Dec 2023, 09:08 AM IST
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