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Updated January 26th, 2024 at 11:16 IST

OpenAI answers CBC concerns on lack of diversity in board

The CBC had initially written to OpenAI in mid-December, urging the organisation to expedite efforts in diversifying its board.

Reported by: Business Desk
Sam Altman to return as OpenAI CEO
Sam Altman | Image:Sam Altman
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CBC on OpenAI board: OpenAI has issued a response to a letter from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) addressing concerns about the lack of diversity on its board. The letter, dated January 5 and signed by CEO Sam Altman and Chairman of the Board Bret Taylor, underlined that building a diverse board is a top priority for the company. OpenAI acknowledged criticism regarding gender and racial diversity and mentioned collaborating with an executive search firm to identify suitable candidates.

The CBC had initially written to OpenAI in mid-December, urging the organisation to expedite efforts in diversifying its board. The letter stressed the importance of incorporating a Black perspective in developing machine learning tools to mitigate AI bias. Notably, the CBC letter highlighted that OpenAI's board consisted exclusively of white men.

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OpenAI's response, while not directly addressing the CBC's request for Black voices on the board, stated that the company is actively working on its board structure and remains committed to addressing harmful AI biases. The response outlined measures such as policies against hateful content, tools for detecting hate, and efforts to prevent the model from responding to stereotype-based questions.

Despite expressing appreciation for OpenAI's commitment to hiring an external firm, Rep Emanuel Cleaver of the CBC expressed a desire for a more concrete plan for diversification. He noted the absence of explicit details on how OpenAI intends to overcome ethnic, racial, and gender barriers for increased inclusivity. Rep. Cleaver plans to discuss OpenAI's response with the CBC during their upcoming luncheon, seeking their collective input. Additionally, the CBC has previously requested the Department of Labor to investigate whether ongoing tech layoffs disproportionately impact the Black community, with the department confirming receipt of the letter and ongoing review.

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Published January 26th, 2024 at 11:16 IST

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