Support for Licensing

August 4, 2023

Who supports licensing for frontier AI systems?

We compiled relevant quotes from OpenAI and Microsoft. Licensing has also received support from other stakeholders in industry, think tanks, governments, and the public.

OpenAI (see CEO Sam Altman’s testimony and responses to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, May 2023)

  • "It is vital that AI companies– especially those working on the most powerful models– adhere to an appropriate set of safety requirements, including internal and external testing prior to release and publication of evaluation results. To ensure this, the U.S. government should consider a combination of licensing or registration requirements for development and release of AI models above a crucial threshold of capabilities, alongside incentives for full compliance with these requirements."
  • "Licensure is common in safety-critical and other high-risk contexts, such as air travel, power generation, drug manufacturing, and banking. Licensees could be required to perform pre-deployment risk assessments and adopt state-of-the-art security and deployment safeguards."

Microsoft (see Microsoft’s report, May 2023)

  • "As Microsoft, we endorse [the establishment of a licensing regime] and support the establishment of a new regulator to bring this licensing regime to life and oversee its implementation."
  • "We envision licensing requirements such as advance notification of large training runs, comprehensive risk assessments focused on identifying dangerous or breakthrough capabilities, extensive prerelease testing by internal and external experts, and multiple checkpoints along the way."
  • "We shouldn’t leave these issues of societal importance to good judgment and self-restraint alone. We need regulatory frameworks that anticipate and get ahead of the risks."

The American public (see this 2017 poll and this 2023 poll)

  • 71% believe there should be "national regulations on AI."
  • 55% favor "having a federal agency regulate the use of artificial intelligence similar to how the FDA regulates the approval of drugs and medical devices."
  • "A majority (55%) of Americans are now worried at least somewhat that artificially intelligent machines could one day pose a risk to the human race’s existence."