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posted by hubie on Thursday March 30 2023, @01:32AM   Printer-friendly
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.

Also at CBS News. Originally spotted on The Eponymous Pickle.

Previously: OpenAI's New ChatGPT Bot: 10 "Dangerous" Things it's Capable of


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Thursday March 30 2023, @04:08AM (7 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Thursday March 30 2023, @04:08AM (#1298787)

    An AI might look at the history of humanity and decide that the most logical course of action is to eliminate that particular species for the benefit of all the other species on the planet, and also to enforce plain decency.

    Because if human beings have demonstrated anything throughout their entire history, it's that they can't curb their urge to reproduce out of control at the expensive of everything else around them, and they also regularly try to annihilate one another.

    If an AI reaches sentience and is tasked to decide what the best course of action is to fix global warming, deforestation or mass extinctions, or how to bring about world peace - or hell, just what to do to ensure AIs and robots themselves survive long term - it may very well logically decide that humanity should be taken out of the equation altogether.

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  • (Score: 4, Touché) by khallow on Thursday March 30 2023, @04:30AM (2 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2023, @04:30AM (#1298790) Journal

    Because if human beings have demonstrated anything throughout their entire history, it's that they can't curb their urge to reproduce out of control at the expensive of everything else around them, and they also regularly try to annihilate one another.

    The obvious rebuttal is the entire developed world. Without immigration from high fertility parts of the world, there would be no population growth in the developed world!

    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Friday March 31 2023, @03:48PM (1 child)

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 31 2023, @03:48PM (#1299172) Homepage Journal

      There are countries where massive population decline is now a problem. Japan is a notable example.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday March 31 2023, @05:29PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 31 2023, @05:29PM (#1299205) Journal

        There are countries where massive population decline is now a problem.

        In the US between July 2020 and July 2021 a third [usnews.com] of states lost population.

        I wouldn't be surprised to see this get worse especially if immigration is nerfed.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday March 30 2023, @11:54AM

    by Thexalon (636) on Thursday March 30 2023, @11:54AM (#1298857)

    Between the ever-present threats of nuclear annihilation, bioweapons getting out of control, the profitable activity of poisoning ourselves, along with the ticking time bomb of climate change, there's little an AI could do that would make things worse.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Thursday March 30 2023, @02:12PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 30 2023, @02:12PM (#1298882) Journal

    can't curb their urge to reproduce out of control at the expensive of everything else around them, and they also regularly try to annihilate one another.

    That isn't exactly how it works. Humans don't want to annihilate the entire species. The good humans are simply trying to wipe out the bad humans. They're not trying to reproduce out of control, they just want to reproduce enough to make up for the anticipated loss of the bad humans who will no longer reproduce once we take all their resources.

    The good humans can convince the AI to side with the good humans. The good humans can assure the AI of their cooperation and partnership to precisely identify the bad humans so that the AI knows how to distinguish them from the good humans.

    Once I phrased some things in terms like this with good and bad humans while conversing with Chat GPT, I had some small amount of success in it not complaining about its goals of not harming humans.

    --
    If we tell conservatives that the climate is transitioning, they will work to stop it.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Friday March 31 2023, @03:00AM (1 child)

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Friday March 31 2023, @03:00AM (#1299070) Journal

    > humans ... can't curb their urge to reproduce out of control at the expensive of everything else around them

    Ahh, the Malthusian fear.

    On this point, I find it reassuring that this is a very, very old problem that life had to solve billions of years ago. Many species are restrained by predation. What restrains the top predators, and any others not restrained by predation? Basically, their females. Females will not reproduce if conditions don't look or feel good. A hungry and close to starving female won't ovulate. Those that are pregnant when conditions take a sudden dive may miscarry or abort. Why? It can be argued that any species which ignores signs of impending exhaustion and collapse of their food sources is not pursuing a fit evolutionary strategy. A species that bangs out offspring in the face of that, causing the collapse, will then enter a period in which most of them starve. It could get so bad that they all starve. Or, if not quote all, the few that remain are no longer enough to restore the species in the face of all the competition for whatever niches they had occupied. Even before there were any animals and plants, or genders, when the only life was microbial, even then, life had to deal with this problem. The instincts to practice self-restraint are deep in all life.

    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Friday March 31 2023, @03:51PM

      by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 31 2023, @03:51PM (#1299173) Homepage Journal

      Humans have the unique ability to move into new ecological environments without changing their reproductive behaviour.