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Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler See AI as a Boogeyman or a Blessing?

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler considers AI as the most transformative technology, on par with the internet and mass production of automobiles.
  • Gensler identifies challenges in explainability, bias, and robustness in AI decision-making models; emphasizes models must serve clients' best interests.
  • He states the SEC is neutral to any technology and focuses on outcomes, considering implications of AI on securities laws.
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Gary Gensler, in a speech delivered on July 17, talked about the challenges and potential opportunities of AI. Gensler believes there is real gravity to the risks posed by AI.

United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler spoke before the National Press Club on July 17, offering his thoughts on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Gensler commented on various facets of AI in a speech titled “Isaac Newton to AI.”

Gary Gensler’s Speech on AI Calls for Preparation

Gensler refers to the wildly popular generative AI model that is ChatGPT and language learning models (LLM) in general. However, his concerns have more to do with AI at large, which he notes is much broader than just LLMs. “I believe it’s the most transformative technology of our time, on par with the internet and mass production of automobiles,” Gensler said.

One of the biggest issues that Gensler sees is a sort of feedback loop leading to monopolistic platforms in AI. He notes that the AI space could have a few platforms in the same vein that the overall tech industry is dominated by a few companies.

In a recent speech, SEC Chair Gary Gensler highlighted significant AI advancements, including the popular ChatGPT. If you are not aware of what it is, check out our guide to learn more: ChatGPT Review: Everything You Need to Know

Gensler then lists AI’s various achievements and milestones over the years, including DeepBlue’s victory over Garry Kasparov and AlphaGo’s victory over Lee Sedol. As a result of the advances in mathematics, data, and computational power, AI has become much more powerful and flexible at a rapid pace.

As such, Gensler sees both opportunities and challenges with respect to AI. This is a common viewpoint of many, and the SEC Chair is no different. For example, the United Nations is concerned about AI manipulation of brain signals.

Gensler Speaks on Vast Potential and Risks Concerning AI

Gensler’s speech is not of doom and gloom on the risks of AI. As he sees it, there are,

“Tremendous opportunities for humanity, from healthcare to science to finance. As machines take on pattern recognition, particularly when done at scale, this can create great efficiencies across the economy.”

On a micro level, he sees there being risks in explainability, bias, and robustness when it comes to decision-making models. This being the case, Gensler thinks that models must be in the best interests of clients and customers.

When it comes to the macro level, Gensler notes that there may be a significant change in the job market. Two macro issues that Gensler discusses are the controversies surrounding privacy and intellectual property and the potential impacts on financial stability.

Gary Gensler concludes his speech by saying that the SEC is neutral to any particular technology and that it is more focused on the outcomes. Regarding the latter, he says that securities laws may be implicated depending on how AI is used.

He also says that the SEC could benefit from using AI market surveillance, disclosure review, exams, enforcement, and economic analysis. As the results of an AI transformation are undeniable, he asks that there be an understanding and acceptance of what could be serious challenges.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...