OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman met President Isaac Herzog on Monday and applauded Israel’s position as a leading innovator in the development of artificial intelligence.
“The rate at which the tech and start-up community in Israel is embracing AI is incredible to watch,” Altman stated.
The CEO and co-founder of OpenAI met and conversed with the president during his global tour of AI development hotspots around the world.
OpenAI is the world’s leading research laboratory for artificial intelligence, best known for its flagship product ChatGPT, an AI language model that enables users to ask questions and receive natural language responses. The company is also known for developing DALL-E, a tool that generates original images based on textual descriptions.
“The rate at which the tech and startup community in Israel is embracing AI is incredible to watch.”Sam Altman
Israel is a tech powerhouse
The discussions between Herzog and Altman touched on the evolving AI landscape, the challenges and opportunities that AI technologies present, and the importance of responsible AI development.
The meeting holds potentially great significance in the context of the global AI landscape, as it represents a convergence of political leadership and technological expertise, highlighting the recognition of AI’s transformative potential and the urgency to navigate its implications. Altman’s visit to Israel also underscores the country’s growing reputation as a hub for innovation and technological advancement.
Herzog touched on this point, stating: “Clearly, Israel is a powerhouse in terms of technology and innovation, and a leading force in the development of artificial intelligence especially. Your visit has created enormous interest across the country – a country that wants to do good and serve the world with purpose.”
The emergence of generative AI, manifested by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has prompted global lawmakers to address the safety concerns associated with the technology. As a result, governments worldwide are grappling with the need to create appropriate legislation.
The European Union has taken the lead by drafting the AI Act, which is expected to be enacted later this year. In contrast, the United States is leaning toward adapting existing laws to regulate AI rather than creating entirely new legislation. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom aims to strike a balance by avoiding excessive regulation that could stifle innovation.
“Side by side with the great opportunities of this incredible technology, there are also many risks to humanity and to the independence of human beings in the future. We must make sure that this development is used for the well-being of humanity. You can see the advantages and disadvantages, and you are the first to mention it openly and boldly,” said Herzog.
As AI continues to reshape various sectors of society, it is crucial for policymakers, industry leaders, and technologists to come together and forge a path that balances innovation with ethical considerations. The meeting between Herzog and Altman serves as a symbol of this necessary collaboration and sets the stage for future initiatives aimed at harnessing the potential of AI for the betterment of society.
After Israel, Altman is set to visit Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, India and South Korea within the week.
“I have been very heartened as I have been doing this trip around the world, getting to meet world leaders, in seeing the thoughtfulness, the focus, and the urgency on figuring out how we mitigate these very huge risks,” he said.
Earlier, Hebrew-language media reported that Altman had refused an offer to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his visit but these reports were denied by an OpenAI spokesperson, who stated that the company “did not receive a meeting request from Prime Minister Netanyahu.”
Meanwhile, Netanyahu announced on Monday that he had spoken with AI pioneer Elon Musk about developing a national AI strategy for Israel.
“Had an insightful talk on AI with @elonmusk whose genius & impact on humanity are formidable. I will soon assemble experts to develop a national AI strategy for Israel. Just as we turned Israel into a cyber powerhouse, we’ll repeat that success in AI!” tweeted Netanyahu.