DOES ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY IN UPCOMING EXTINCTIONS
No, this isn’t the premise of iRobot or another such dystopian future AI-based film, these are the warnings of industry experts who believe that artificial intelligence may have a role to play in future extinctions. That being said – there are many other industry players who believe that such assertions are premature and potentially unfounded. Governments globally are being warned to make contingencies and accommodations for the rate at which AI is becoming a part of everyday life as the legality of all this needs to be considered from a regulatory standpoint too. The biggest underlying concern is the level of redundancy to which AI has the potential of imposing on jobs that are currently held by millions of humans.
Elon Musk is one such tech believer who has advocated for pumping the breaks on AI development and taking a “6 month pause” on certain AI systems. The open letter was in response to the release of OpenAI’s GPT4 which is more advanced than any of its predecessors. The letter advocates for the following: “Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable. This pause should be public and verifiable, and include all key actors. Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”
The Centre for AI Safety website has become a hub for those who have concerns about the impact of Artificial Intelligence on society. Some of the concerns include the fact that AI can be weaponized through the likes of “chemical weapon development” or being used as a method of distribution of misinformation for nefarious purposes. Outside of these, there is the fear that we as humans become too reliant on AI to fulfil certain functions which may make us vulnerable in future. Lastly, like most things, with great power comes great responsibility, and if the development and deployment of AI is left to a few individuals, then we run the risk of imposing oppressive systems and censorship via AI. Some experts believe that by fixating on future potential issues, we may be missing out on the ones that are more imminent as well as completely disregarding some of the benefits offered by AI technology and tools.