Speaking at an AI event in Taipei on Monday (25 Sept), OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman has warned tech companies and legislators to not “sit around and fear” drafting AI regulations despite the risk of getting such regulation wrong. 

The event was hosted by Foxconn founder Terry Gou’s charity who, according to Reuters, was in attendance for Altman’s address. 

“People in [the tech] industry bash regulation a lot,” Altman said, “We’ve been calling for regulation but only for the most powerful systems. Models that are like 10,000 times the power of GPT4, models that are like as smart as human civilisation, … those probably deserve some regulation.” 

Despite admitting that regulation, in general, has not been a “pure good”, Altman compared the future of AI regulation to airplane safety. 

“I don’t want to have to make an opinion about every time I step onto an airplane how safe it’s going to be, but I trust that they’re pretty safe and I think regulation has been a positive good there,” Altman explained. 

As Colin Redbond, SVP and Managing Director at SS&C Blue Prism, explains, AI governance is important to a “range of industries” including sectors that are already heavily regulated. 

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“Business and technology leaders must address the governance of AI within their own business,” stated Redbond, which means that each business’ own adoption and self-regulation of AI will be unique to its sector. 

“There are a range of different techniques of AI governance to ensure the secure and effective development and implementation of AI technologies,” said Redbond, “Whilst transparency is vital, businesses must also adopt ethical guidelines to outline how AI will be utilised within a business.” 

According to research analyst GlobalData, around one in five businesses have already adopted AI into their work flows. 

Looking forward, as AI continues to become ubiquitous in business, BT Group’s AI Director Dr Zoe Webster explained what shape AI regulation may take. 

“With AI innovation moving at pace, ensuring legislation focuses on principles, and not detail, will provide both the necessary guardrails and a framework to build a fuller regulatory regime over time,” Webster stated. 

GlobalData forecasts that the worldwide market share of AI-driven horizontal business process applications will be worth $45bn by 2030.