A former OpenAI board member says it's the interactive nature of ChatGPT that has made artificial intelligence accessible to a wide audience in a meaningful way.

Shivon Zilis says the chatbot that can engage in humanlike conversations had such an impact because anyone with access to a computer could engage with the technology even without expert knowledge.

She says some people had used AI before but OpenAI's creation of ChatGPT made the technology so broad that it had an "unnerving" effect for many.

While ChatGPT has been heralded by many technologists as a harbinger of innovation, earlier this year more than 1,000 artificial intelligence experts called for a six-month pause on the training of most powerful AI systems.

Zilis's remarks were made at Super Session, a Toronto conference held by the Creative Destruction Lab, a non-profit helping science and tech firms.

She is currently a project director at Neuralink, a brain implant company backed by Elon Musk that wants to restore vision and help people with disabilities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 13, 2023.