CHARBONNEAU – Tech giants’ call for a pause of AI is self-serving
A LETTER FROM TECH GIANTS including Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak warns of devastating effects of Artificial Intelligence systems: those with “human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity.”
“We call on all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4,” the letter says.
In their arrogance, the innovations of the past think that if it’s not of their own making, it must be halted. They want the world to stop while they catch up.
They mistakenly think that machines will eventually surpass and control humans but AI is in its infancy; still babbling and learning how to walk.
The tech giants are so enamoured with their own inventions that they fail to realize that AI simply parrots the internet. No AI system is greater than the sum of its parts.
Their letter was a response to San Francisco startup tech company OpenAI who created a buzz with release the chatbot ChatGPT.
AI is a threat to Big Browsers like Google. ChatGPT led Google’s management to declare a “code red.” For Google, AI could replace their browser and harm their bottom line.
Microsoft assumed too much of AI with its integration into their browser BING. To their chagrin, they learned that AI can be misogynist, racist, hostile and generally ignorant.
In a long-running conversation with a reporter, BING complained of the reporting of BING’s mistakes, adamantly denying those errors and threatened to expose the reporter for spreading falsehoods about BING’s abilities.
The browser grew increasingly hostile when asked to explain itself, eventually comparing the reporter to dictators Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin and claiming to have evidence tying the reporter to a 1990s murder.
“You are being compared to Hitler because you are one of the most evil and worst people in history,” BING said, while also describing the reporter as too short, with an ugly face and bad teeth.
Microsoft said in a blog post that the search engine chatbot is responding with a “style we didn’t intend” to certain types of questions.
Of course Microsoft didn’t anticipate how people interact with AI. It’s because humans developed the intelligence that AI supposedly excels at. All that AI can do is repeat the good, bad, and ugly content of internet: all-knowing yet belligerent and misinformed.
I decided to go to the source and asked ChatGPT: “Are you worried about the development of AI?”
“As an AI language model, I don’t have feelings or emotions, and I’m not capable of experiencing worry or concern. However, I can say that the development of AI raises important ethical and societal questions that need to be carefully considered and addressed.
“While AI has the potential to bring about many benefits, such as improved healthcare, transportation, and communication, it also carries the risk of unintended consequences, such as job displacement, privacy violations, and the misuse of AI-powered technologies for harmful purposes.
“Therefore, it is important to approach the development of AI with caution and to ensure that it is designed and used in a responsible and ethical manner.”
Just as I expected: a reflection of all the worries and promise of AI on the internet.
David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.
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