AI tools like ChatGPT are expanding at an alarming rate. While they have been designed to make things simpler, leading tech leaders from across the world have warned about the dire consequences of AI. The tech leaders, including OpenAI founder Sam Altman, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott among others have issued a warning that artificial intelligence (AI) technology should be viewed as a significant risk to society. It can be as dangerous for humanity as pandemics and nuclear wars are. The Center for AI Safety released a statement which has been signed by hundreds of executives and academics, emphasizing the need to prioritize the regulation of AI and address the risks it poses to humanity.
The statement highlights concerns about AI’s potential to impact job markets, negatively affect public health, and enable the “weaponization of disinformation”, discrimination, and impersonation. Industry figures, including the leaders of Google’s DeepMind, OpenAI (the developer of ChatGPT), and AI startup Anthropic, have called for regulations due to the existential fears associated with AI.
“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 said.
Geoffrey Hinton, a leading figure in AI, recently left Google because he believes that AI poses a significant risk to humanity. This comes as the UK government, which previously had a different view on AI, now acknowledges its potential risks.
The statement signed by various experts is important because of the wide range of signatories and its focus on existential concerns. The large number of signatories reflects a growing realization within the AI community about the genuine threats posed by AI technology, according to Michael Osborne, a professor of machine learning at the University of Oxford and co-founder of Mind Foundry.
“It really is remarkable that so many people signed up to this letter,” he said. “That does show that there is a growing realisation among those of us working in AI that existential risks are a real concern.”
The concerns about regulating AI stem from its rapid growth and widespread use, which has exceeded industry expectations. The complex and not fully understood nature of AI calls for proactive measures to reduce potential risks. The statement focuses on the immediate need to address the societal risks tied to AI and draws attention to the worries expressed by a diverse group of experts. It urges governments, organizations, and the global community to treat this issue seriously.
“Because we don’t understand AI very well there is a prospect that it might play a role as a kind of new competing organism on the planet, so a sort of invasive species that we’ve designed that might play some devastating role in our survival as a species, “Osborne told Guardian about risks of AI.