Experts on artificial intelligence are coming out and warning of a “human extinction” risk with the progressing technology. Sam Altman, the CEO of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, along with executives from Google’s AI arm DeepMind and Microsoft, were among those who supported and signed the short statement.
“Contemporary AI systems are now becoming human-competitive at general tasks,” said the letter. “Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete, and replace us? Should we risk loss of control of our civilization?” the letter asked.
Other tech leaders such as Tesla’s Elon Musk and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt have cautioned about the risks AI poses to human society. “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war,” the statement Tuesday read according to a report by CNBC.
In an open letter released back in March, Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and several tech leaders urged AI labs to stop training systems to be more powerful than GPT-4, which is OpenAI’s latest large language model. They also called for a six-month pause on such advanced development.
The technology has gathered pace in recent months after chatbot ChatGPT was released for public use in November and subsequently went viral. In just two months after its launch, it reached 100 million users. ChatGPT has amazed researchers and the general public with its ability to generate humanlike responses to users’ prompts, suggesting AI could replace jobs and imitate humans.
The statement added that it can be “difficult to voice concerns about some of advanced AI’s most severe risks” and had the aim of overcoming this obstacle and opening up the discussions.
ChatGPT has arguably sparked much more awareness and adoption of AI as major firms around the world have raced to develop rival products and capabilities.
The consequences of putting humanity’s existence into the hands of artificial intelligence, which has no morals or compassion could be dire.