OpenAI Boosts Security Cred with Former NSA Chief on Board!

  • Editor
  • June 28, 2024
    Updated
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OpenAI has announced the appointment of Paul M. Nakasone, a retired general of the US Army and former head of the National Security Agency (NSA), to its board of directors. Nakasone, who directed the NSA from 2018 until February 2024, will join OpenAI’s newly formed Safety and Security Committee.

This move is seen as a strategic effort to enhance the company’s security credentials and address growing concerns about the safety of its AI models. Nakasone brings expertise in cybersecurity and national security, having also led the military’s Cyber Command.

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OpenAI’s decision to add Nakasone to its board is part of a broader strategy to convince skeptics that it is taking the necessary steps to ensure its models are safe.

The appointment comes amid criticisms from former high-ranking OpenAI employees who have alleged that the company prioritizes speed over safety.

Here’s what people around the world are saying!

Jan Leike, who was involved in the company’s long-term safety work known as “superalignment,” criticized OpenAI for not adequately supporting his team’s efforts. Leike, along with policy researcher Gretchen Krueger, left the company recently, expressing concerns about the company’s safety practices.

Nakasone’s appointment also responds to criticisms and concerns about OpenAI’s security practices.

In recent months, the company has faced scrutiny following the departure of key employees, including co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who was involved in a major internal conflict last November.

To address these issues, OpenAI has been hiring more security engineers and increasing transparency about its approach to securing its systems.

In his statement, Nakasone expressed his commitment to supporting OpenAI in safeguarding its innovations while leveraging them to benefit society.

“OpenAI’s dedication to its mission aligns closely with my own values and experience in public service,” Nakasone said in a press release.

Board chair Bret Taylor highlighted Nakasone’s unparalleled experience in cybersecurity as crucial for guiding OpenAI in achieving its mission of ensuring that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to have huge positive impacts on people’s lives, but it can only meet this potential if these innovations are securely built and deployed,“ board chair Bret Taylor said in a statement. “General Nakasone’s unparalleled experience in areas like cybersecurity will help guide OpenAI in achieving its mission of ensuring artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.”

OpenAI’s board of directors now includes Nakasone, CEO Sam Altman, Adam D’Angelo, Larry Summers, Bret Taylor, Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, Nicole Seligman, and Fidji Simo. Additionally, Microsoft’s Dee Templeton holds a non-voting observer seat on the board.

The OpenAI press release also states: “Nakasone’s insights will also contribute to OpenAI’s efforts to understand better how AI can be used to strengthen cybersecurity by quickly detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats.

We believe AI has the potential to deliver significant benefits in this area for many institutions frequently targeted by cyber attacks like hospitals, schools, and financial institutions.”

Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, praised the addition of Nakasone to the board, describing it as a “huge get” given Nakasone’s respected status in the security community.

Warner noted that Nakasone brings essential expertise in cybersecurity, election security, and competition with China, adding a realistic perspective on the unique challenges posed by China.


Nakasone’s role will involve contributing to OpenAI’s efforts to understand how AI can be used to enhance cybersecurity by quickly detecting and responding to threats.

This appointment is part of OpenAI’s broader strategy to establish itself as a reliable AI provider to the tech industry and government, defense, and major enterprises.

 

His experience and connections in the military and government sectors are expected to be valuable for OpenAI’s strategic positioning and in securing collaborations with government entities.

The newly formed Safety and Security Committee, which Nakasone will join, recommends critical safety and security decisions for OpenAI projects and operations.

The committee is currently undergoing a 90-day evaluation of the company’s processes and safeguards. This high-profile addition addresses concerns that OpenAI is moving faster than prudent, ensuring its models and services are adequately evaluated and secured against potential risks.

For more news and insights, visit AI News on our website.

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Dave Andre

Editor

Digital marketing enthusiast by day, nature wanderer by dusk. Dave Andre blends two decades of AI and SaaS expertise into impactful strategies for SMEs. His weekends? Lost in books on tech trends and rejuvenating on scenic trails.

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