...By Jack Sylva for TDPel Media.
Artificial intelligence (AI) expert Geoffrey Hinton has warned that AI technology is developing at an alarming rate and has called for its expansion to be brought under human control.
Hinton, who was a longtime researcher at Google, said the software development firm OpenAI’s GPT-4 chatbot system “eclipses a person in the amount of general knowledge it has”, although he also cautioned that such systems are still in the early stages of development and possess flaws, with some producing incorrect or made-up information.
There is debate over whether self-awareness is possible for a digital creation.
Hinton, who was a pioneer in neural network design and won the Turing Award, computing’s top honour, in 2018, has said that the AI systems in development are “very different” from other kinds of software.
Hinton’s warning is in line with the concerns of Pope Francis and other Catholic leaders, who have advocated for the ethical use of AI technologies, with Francis calling for them to be used for “the future of humanity”.
Speaking to participants in the Minerva Dialogues, a digital technologies-focused gathering, the pope highlighted that while artificial intelligence has potential, it will only be realised if developers remain committed to ethical standards.
The pope added that he welcomes the regulation of AI to ensure that it contributes to a better world.
The risks posed by AI systems, including the automation of work that is currently done by people, leading to job losses, and the potential for AI to create and propagate disinformation, have been cited by other experts.
Long-term risks, such as the possibility of AI systems destroying humanity, have also been raised.
There is a real concern that AI systems may be interlinked with other internet services and gain the power to self-modify themselves, posing a danger that they could escape human control.
While AI has enormous potential, it should not be developed at the expense of the common good, as this could lead to real dangers.
There is a need for the ethical and responsible use of AI and for developers to act ethically and responsibly.
There is also a need for regulation to ensure that AI is used for the benefit of society.