ChatGPT’s Sam Altman says the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the risks, but AI should be regulated.

The head of the artificial intelligence company that developed ChatGPT told the US Congress on Tuesday that while artificial intelligence can benefit humanity, it should be regulated.

“We believe the benefits of the tools we’ve developed so far far outweigh the risks,” said OpenAI CEO and co-founder Sam Altman.

He listed the technology’s beneficial applications, from medicine to fighting the climate crisis. But he said intervention by the world’s governments was needed to ensure these tools are developed in a way that protects and respects citizens’ rights and freedoms.

“As this technology develops, we understand that people are concerned about how it might change the way we live. So are we,” he said.

He proposed the creation of a US or global agency that would license the most powerful AI systems and have the power to “remove that license and ensure compliance with security standards”.

“We believe that regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to reducing the risks of increasingly powerful models. For example, the US could consider a combination of licensing and testing requirements for the development and launch of models above the capability threshold,” he said.

Altman’s San Francisco-based start-up gained global attention last November when it released ChatGPT.

The free chatbot tool can write essays or a poem, plan a vacation or solve a computer code with convincing human answers.

His testimony comes amid growing concern in the United States and elsewhere that AI will have unexpected effects on society.

US lawmakers cited risks such as the loss of jobs or the use of content creation tools to generate false information from foreign actors.

There are no immediate signs that Congress will create sweeping new AI rules, as European lawmakers are doing. But US authorities have vowed to crack down on harmful AI products that violate existing civil rights and consumer protection laws.

Earlier this month, the US government announced that it will invest $140 million to establish seven new artificial intelligence research institutes to drive responsible innovation and ensure that advances in technology serve the common good.