On Monday, Moncloa received a very special guest: Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI. The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchezand the Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calvinomet with the creator of ChatGPT to talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the possibilities it offers to society, as Sánchez has made known in a tweet.
But it is essential that its development respects the rights and democratic values. pic.twitter.com/o2jBlNMYRt
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) May 22, 2023
Although the details of the meeting have not been disclosed, it is possible that it is related to the upcoming vote in the European Parliament in June to pass a law regulating the use of AI. Madrid’s position regarding ChatGPT could also have been addressed, since in April the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) opened an investigation against OpenAI for a possible violation of European privacy laws.
This is not the first time Altman has interacted with politicians. Last week, he appeared before the United States Congress to request the creation of regulations that help mitigate the risks associated with AI-based tools. The OpenAI co-founder seeks to get involved in the regulatory development process so that he can influence it and reap some benefits.
While in Madrid, Altman also participated in an event with businessmen at IE University, where he warned about the need to be cautious with AI: “We must be as careful as with nuclear weapons… The consequences could be catastrophic worldwide«.
Who is Sam Altman?
Sam Altman is 38 years old and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. When I was 8 years old I already knew how to program and disassemble a Macintosh computer.. He studied at the standord university computer sciencebut in 2005 he retired with some colleagues to work full time on his mobile application, loop, which shared a user’s location with their friends. In an interview he has shared that this first attempt to be an entrepreneur was a total failure.
His app was part of the first group invested in by startup accelerator Y Combinator.; in fact it was in the same batch as Reddit. Loopt achieved a valuation of $175 million, but it did not generate enough interest and they sold it for $43 million in 2012.
After his experience with Loopt, Sam Altman established a venture fund called Hydrazine Capital, where he managed to raise $21 million. Of that money, Altman invested 75% in Y Combinator-backed companies and led Reddit’s Series B funding round. In 2014, at age 28, Altman was chosen by the founder of Y Combinator as his successor to the presidency.
Altman has apprenticed with technology leaders like the founder of LinkedInReid Hoffman, The co-founder of PalantirPeter Thiel, and the president of Y.C. venture capitalist, Paul Graham.