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Trump-appointed former NSA director joins OpenAI’s board

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OpenAI adds Trump-appointed former NSA director to its board

OpenAI has appointed Paul M. Nakasone, a former U.S. Army general and National Security Agency director, to its board of directors. This move is part of a series of changes initiated by CEO Sam Altman’s temporary removal in November.

Nakasone, who was appointed by Trump and asked to continue his role under Biden, will join OpenAI’s Safety and Security Committee. This committee was established in late May to evaluate and enhance its policies regarding model testing and abuse prevention. Learn more

Nakasone’s appointment comes as OpenAI faces criticism regarding its security practices, with some current and former employees alleging that the company prioritizes profits over product safety. OpenAI is under increased scrutiny following the departure of key employees and a public letter calling for significant changes in its practices.

In a statement to the Post, Nakasone expressed his excitement about supporting OpenAI in safeguarding its innovations while benefitting society at large. He emphasized the company’s role in addressing cyber threats and pioneering transformative technology.

OpenAI has announced plans to hire more security engineers and increase transparency in securing the systems powering its research. Former employee Leopold Aschenbrenner raised concerns about the company’s security practices in a podcast, prompting OpenAI to take steps to address these issues.

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Security researchers have highlighted vulnerabilities in chatbots, such as “prompt injection” attacks. Companies have expressed concerns about using ChatGPT, fearing that sensitive information could be at risk.

Nakasone’s addition to OpenAI’s board follows a significant reshuffle. Tech companies are increasingly appointing board members with military expertise in response to a changing regulatory landscape and the digitization of government and military services.

OpenAI previously had a ban on military and warfare use of its products, which was lifted to allow for uses aligned with its values, such as disaster relief and support for veterans.

OpenAI spokesperson Liz Bourgeois clarified that the company has consistently prohibited the use of its tools for developing weapons or causing harm. Nakasone, when asked about AI in a recent interview, emphasized the importance of American companies leading innovation in the field.

Nakasone’s experience in Washington will be valuable for OpenAI as it aims to enhance its government relations strategy and promote U.S. AI companies as a defense against foreign threats.

OpenAI continues to emphasize its commitment to ethical AI practices and ensuring that its technologies are not used for harmful purposes, including weapons development.

clarification

This story has been updated to clarify that Nakasone continued heading the NSA under President Biden.

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