Ex-NSA Chief Joins OpenAI Board

from The National Pulse:


OpenAI announced on Thursday that Paul M. Nakasone, a retired US Army general and former head of the National Security Agency (NSA), will join its board of directors. The move has sparked concern among some left-leaning civil liberties advocates—in part because Nakasone was appointed to lead the NSA by former President Donald J. Trump, serving from 2018 until February of this year.

Prior to his departure from the NSA, Nakasone authored an op-ed advocating for the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), a provision reauthorized by Congress in April. The FISA legislation reauthorized a controversial provision that allows the government to spy on Americans without a warrant as long as they’re communicating with noncitizens in a foreign country.

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As part of his board of directors role, Nakasone will join OpenAI’s recently formed Safety and Security Committee. His role will include aiding OpenAI in enhancing its understanding of how artificial intelligence (AI) can be harnessed to bolster cybersecurity efforts, particularly in detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats.

The new appointment comes amid departures related to safety concerns at OpenAI. Notable exits include co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who was involved in the contentious firing and reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman in November. Additionally, Jan Leike publicly remarked that “safety culture and processes have taken a backseat to shiny products.”

Bret Taylor, chair of OpenAI’s board, emphasized the significance of secure innovation in AI. “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,” he stated. Taylor further highlighted Nakasone’s extensive experience in cybersecurity as a valuable asset in guiding OpenAI towards its mission of ensuring artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.

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