Should We, and Can We, Put the Brakes on Artificial Intelligence?

Sam Altman, who ushered in ChatGPT, and Yoshua Bengio, an early pioneer of A.I., discuss the growing concerns surrounding unfettered, nonhuman intelligence.

Sam Altman, the C.E.O. of OpenAI, which created ChatGPT, says that artificial intelligence is a powerful tool that will streamline human work and quicken the pace of scientific advancement. But ChatGPT has both enthralled and terrified us, and even some of A.I.’s pioneers are freaked out by the technology and how quickly it has advanced. David Remnick talks with Altman, and with the computer scientist Yoshua Bengio, who won the prestigious Turing Award for his work in 2018, but recently signed an open letter calling for a moratorium on some A.I. research until regulation can be implemented. The stakes, Bengio says, are high: “I believe there is a non-negligible risk that this kind of technology, in the short term, could disrupt democracies.” Plus, Masha Gessen brings the story of a gay activist targeted by the Russian government, and discusses why repression of L.G.B.T.Q. people is becoming more widespread around the world.

Sam Altman, the C.E.O. of OpenAI, discusses the surge of A.I. tools, such as ChatGPT, explaining their applications, limitations, and the need for government regulation.