OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Predicts Israel Will Play A Big Role In Reducing AI Risks
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman predicts Israel will play an important role in reducing the risk of artificial intelligence (AI) (photo: twitter @sama)

JAKARTA - OpenAI CEO Sam Altman predicts on Monday 5 June that Israel will play an important role in reducing the risk of artificial intelligence (AI) and seeing investment opportunities in the country although it is still considering whether and how to regulate the technology behind ChatGPT.

Altman is one of the most famous people in the world of technology who has encouraged the government to immediately make regulations to ensure AI is used responsibly.

After exploring Europe last month and meeting with national policymakers and leaders to discuss AI's prospects and threats, Altman now plans to travel to Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, India, and South Korea - all this week.

He is currently in Israel, which in a Stanford University study has ranked top five countries with a significant machine learning system and AI skills concentration.

"I am very happy during this trip around the world, meeting with world leaders, seeing thoughts, focus, and urgency in finding ways to reduce this enormous risk," Altman said at a meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

"Energy to take advantage of the technology and its positive benefits is extraordinary to look at, and I am sure Israel will play a big role," Altman said.

While visiting Israel's R&D Microsoft Corp center, Altman was asked if his company would also open a local office there.

According to Microsoft's statement issued in Hebrew, "he (Altman) said the company prefers to work together in one location, but is studying various investment options in Israel."

Altman had underestimated concerns about AI's impact on employment. He said there would always be work for humans, despite automation growth, although work in the next 100 years will look barely the same as today's work."


The rapid development and popularity of AI has been beneficial since Microsoft-backed OpenAI launched a ChatGPT last year encouraging global lawmakers to formulate laws to address security concerns over this technology.

"I think it would be a mistake to impose strict regulations on the current field or try to slow down incredible innovations," Altman told an audience of about 1,200 people at Tel Aviv University. But he said he would comply with regulations, in contrast to some social media companies.

The European Union is taking steps forward with the AI Bill that is expected to become law by the end of this year, while the United States tends to adapt existing laws to regulate AI rather than make new laws as a whole.

Britain also wants to avoid severe legislation that could hinder innovation.

"Israel - like the United Kingdom, and so far it's like Canada - is at the end of the United States spectrum," Ziv Katzir, director of national AI planning at the Israel Innovation Authority, told Reuters.

"Israel has been working on this issue for the past 18 months, with the aim of achieving the right balance between innovation and preservation of human rights and protecting citizens," he added.

Israel published a 115-page AI policy draft in October and is gathering public feedback before the final decision.

Altman also said that the company plans to open up more models over time. "But I don't think it's the right strategy to open up the source of everything," he said.

Altman spoke by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who tweeted that the two discussed the opportunities and challenges facing the world and State of Israel in relation to AI and Israel's cooperation in developing the AI sector.

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