I’m quoted in a nicely written LifeWire article as an expert dismissing the latest AI Warnings made by a huge number signatories (including 23 people at Google, 14 at OpenAI including Anthropic, and… Grimes). I didn’t sign the overblown statement, obviously, and would never.
…experts point to more mundane risks from AI rather than human extinction, such as the possibility that chatbot development could lead to the leaking of personal information. Davi Ottenheimer… said in an email that ChatGPT only recently clarified that it would not use data submitted by customers to train or improve its models unless they opt-in.
“Being so late shows a serious regulation gap and an almost blind disregard for the planning and execution of data acquisition,” he added. “It’s as if stakeholders didn’t listen to everyone shouting from the hilltops that safe learning is critical to a healthy society.”
I also really like the comments in the same LifeWire article from Adnan Masood, Chief AI Architect at UST.
Masood is among those who say that the risks from AI are overblown. “When we compare AI to truly existential threats such as pandemics or nuclear war, the contrast is stark,” he added. “The existential threats we face are tied to our physical survival—climate change, extreme poverty, and war. To suggest that AI, in its current state, poses a comparable risk seems to create a false equivalence.” …these risks, while important, are not existential,” he said. “They are risks that we can manage and mitigate through thoughtful design, robust testing, and responsible deployment of AI. But again, these are not existential risks—they are part of the ongoing process of integrating any new technology into our societal structures.”
Myself being a long-time, many decades, critic of AI (hey, I told you in 2016 that Tesla AI was a lie that would get many people killed)… I have to say at this point that the Google and OpenAI signatories seem to not be trustworthy.
The experimental pop singer, born Claire Boucher, 33, posted her bubbly, enthusiastic rant on Wednesday and left viewers baffled as she described how A.I. could lead to a world where nobody has to work and everyone lives comfortably. ‘A.I. could automate all the farming, weed out systematic corruption, thereby bringing us as close as possible to genuine equality,’ she says. ‘So basically, everything that everybody loves about communism, but without the collective farm. Because let’s be real, enforced farming is not a vibe.’
First she says AI is “nobody has to work… everything that everybody loves about communism”, not even close to any definition of communism, and then soon after she signs a statement AI will destroy the world.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t believe all these big corporations (and a horribly confused artist) who run around and cry wolf about AI, but that we should have the intelligence to recognize patently false statements about “existential threat” as being made by organizations with unclear (tainted and probably selfish) motives.
I doubt I could explain the real threat to society better than Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 2017:
…its reassuring that today, robots of course do not have legal rights like people. That was always my watch-point. That is not even on the horizon. Of course where the intelligence is a corporation rather than a robot, then we should probably make sure that the day never comes when a corporation has the same rights as a person. That, now, would be a red flag. That would allow humanity to be legally subservient to an intelligence — not wise at all. Let’s just make sure than day never comes.
Watch out for those corporations. Such a highly centralized unaccountable model that Google/OpenAI/Microsoft/Facebook want to use to deliver AI says more about them, than it does about risks from the technology itself. Aesop’s boy who cried wolf most importantly was attention seeking and completely untrustworthy, even though a wolf does indeed come in the fable.
Who should you listen to instead? Integrity is seen in accountability. Hint: history says monopolist billionaires, and their doting servants, fail at integrity required for societal care in our highly distributed world. It’s the Sage Test, which I would guess not a single one of the signatories above has ever heard of let alone studied. Maybe they’ve heard of Theodore Roosevelt, just maybe.
Would we ask a factory manager surrounded by miles of dead plants for their advice on global water quality or healthy living? Of course not. Why did anyone take a job at the infamously anti-society OpenAI, let alone an evil Microsoft, if they ever truly cared about society?