from the EXTERMINATE dept.
Geoffrey Hinton, a computer scientist who has been called "the godfather of artificial intelligence", says it is "not inconceivable" that AI may develop to the point where it poses a threat to humanity:
The computer scientist sat down with CBS News this week about his predictions for the advancement of AI. He compared the invention of AI to electricity or the wheel.
Hinton, who works at Google and the University of Toronto, said that the development of general purpose AI is progressing sooner than people may imagine. General purpose AI is artificial intelligence with several intended and unintended purposes, including speech recognition, answering questions and translation.
"Until quite recently, I thought it was going to be like 20 to 50 years before we have general purpose AI. And now I think it may be 20 years or less," Hinton predicted. Asked specifically the chances of AI "wiping out humanity," Hinton said, "I think it's not inconceivable. That's all I'll say."
[...] Hinton said it was plausible for computers to eventually gain the ability to create ideas to improve themselves.
[...] As more and more netizens play with ChatGPT's preview, coming to surface are some of the cracks in AI's thinking as its creators rush to mend them in real time.
Included in the list is:
- 'Selfish' humans 'deserve to be wiped out'
- It can write phishing emails, software and malware
- It's capable of being sexist, racist, ...
- It's convincing even when it's wrong
Speaking of the existential threat of AI is science fiction, and bad science fiction for that matter because it is not based on anything we know about science, logic, and nothing that we even know about ourselves:
Despite their apparent success, LLMs are not (really) 'models of language' but are statistical models of the regularities found in linguistic communication. Models and theories should explain a phenomenon (e.g., F = ma) but LLMs are not explainable because explainability requires structured semantics and reversible compositionality that these models do not admit (see Saba, 2023 for more details). In fact, and due to the subsymbolic nature of LLMs, whatever 'knowledge' these models acquire about language will always be buried in billions of microfeatures (weights), none of which is meaningful on its own. In addition to the lack of explainability, LLMs will always generate biased and toxic language since they are susceptible to the biases and toxicity in their training data (Bender et. al., 2021). Moreover, and due to their statistical nature, these systems will never be trusted to decide on the "truthfulness" of the content they generate (Borji, 2023) – LLMs ingest text and they cannot decide which fragments of text are true and which are not. Note that none of these problematic issues are a function of scale but are paradigmatic issues that are a byproduct of the architecture of deep neural networks (DNNs) and their training procedures. Finally, and contrary to some misguided narrative, these LLMs do not have human-level understanding of language (for lack of space we do not discuss here the limitations of LLMs regarding their linguistic competence, but see this for some examples of problems related to intentionality and commonsense reasoning that these models will always have problems with). Our focus here is on the now popular theme of how dangerous these systems are to humanity.
The article goes on to provide a statistical argument as to why we are many, many years away from AI being an existential threat, ending with:
So enjoy the news about "the potential danger of AI". But watch and read this news like you're watching a really funny sitcom. Make a nice drink (or a nice cup of tea), listen and smile. And then please, sleep well, because all is OK, no matter what some self-appointed god fathers say. They might know about LLMs, but they apparently never heard of BDIs.
The author's conclusion seems to be that although AI may pose a threat to certain professions, it doesn't endanger the existence of humanity.
- Former Google CEO Says AI Poses an 'Existential Risk' That Puts Lives in Danger
- Writers and Publishers Face an Existential Threat From AI: Time to Embrace the True Fans Model
- Artificial Intelligence 'Godfather' on AI Possibly Wiping Out Humanity: 'It's Not Inconceivable'
- Erasing Authors, Google and Bing's AI Bots Endanger Open Web