Red Hat CEO says much work needs to be done on AI regulation front

It is a question anyone involved in a regulatory environment or in the development of an ethical artificial intelligence (AI) initiative will need to consider if they have not done so already: Should AI be regulated?

That has been the burning question, particularly since last week when Open AI CEO Sam Altman, according to a CNN report that carried the headline Mr. ChatGPT goes to Washington, urged “ lawmakers to regulate artificial intelligence during a Senate panel hearing Tuesday, describing the technology’s current boom as a potential ‘printing press moment,’ but one that required safeguards.”

In Altman’s opening remarks, he said that “regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks of increasingly powerful models.”

Asked by IT World Canada today at Red Hat Summit in Boston for his thoughts on Altman’s suggestion, company CEO Matt Hicks agreed that regulations may one day need to come into the fold in one form or another, but stopped short of supporting him.

It is, suggested Hicks, somewhat premature given the fact there are challenges that need to be resolved with respect to AI regulatory issues.

“I think there is a lot of fragmentation at the moment,” he said. “Even with privacy controls, we see things done differently at state levels, at country levels.”

There is, he said, an obvious need to use AI responsibly, but when it comes to how best to regulate it, “I am not sure at this point.”

What he is sure of is that is there no stopping the AI juggernaut. In a blog post released yesterday, Hicks wrote, “AI has reached the tipping point and we cannot ignore it. Instead, we need to decide how, where, and why we will harness it and use it to further our organizations. This week, we explored this on the main stage at Red Hat Summit.

“From where I sit, this is one of the most exciting moments to be in technology. Advancements which sounded like science fiction mere decades ago are now commonplace. AI has moved from the obscurity of academia to the ubiquity of ChatGPT. It’s also moved from a tool that was only accessible to the few to a movement that is now powered and utilized by the masses. Combining the impact and collaborative nature of open source with the potential of AI will enable us to solve the world’s problems more effectively and more quickly than we ever dreamed possible.”

Hicks went on to say, “we are only limited by our creativity. The ingenious element of AI is that it does not need to be one thing for everyone. Each of us needs to analyze how we use it for our businesses and for our industries. While there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, none of us can ignore AI as a driver for change. We have the opportunity to embrace this moment and be a part of shaping the future.”

AI is clearly critical to the company, but so too is edge computing, and today the company announced it had enhanced a partnership with ABB, a Swiss multi-national firm that specializes in electrification and automation that was formally launched last year.

In a joint statement, Francis Chow, vice president and general manager of in-vehicle operating system and edge at Red Hat, and Bernhard Eschermann, chief technology officer (CTO) of process automation at ABB, said the latter’s ABB Ability Edgenius is now available on Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Device Edge, in order to “extend operational consistency for industrial use cases across edge and hybrid-cloud environments.”

The two wrote in a blog that a “paradigm shift is taking place in the industrial sector as manufacturers turn to open source technologies to support agile operational technology (OT) platform architecture and capture real-time data insights at the edge.

“As organizations move additional computing power to the plant floor, they are also realizing that the methodologies previously mastered by IT organizations over the last decade are just as relevant in an OT context.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. His work has appeared in a number of technology magazines and online with the subject matter ranging from cybersecurity issues and the evolving world of edge computing to information management and artificial intelligence advances.

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