The world’s top states and their public and political institutions should prioritize the secure development of AI tools in the next ten years.
History has shown that when forces outside the government obtain rigid political authority, they can lead to anarchy or an out-of-control state reaction.
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Is U.S. Big Tech in charge of humanity’s future? It depends on whose hands the AI is in the next five years, whether there will be the anarchy of a revolution or an extraordinary tightening of the screws. An AI capable of performing the majority of cognitive tasks that humans are capable of will be developed on Earth within the next ten years.
The world’s top states and their public and political institutions should place the greatest priority on ensuring the secure development of extremely potent AI tools for society during the coming ten years. History demonstrates that when forces outside the government obtain rigid political authority, you either get a) the anarchy of a revolution or b) an out-of-control state reaction intended to recover power.
James Phillips, a researcher in artificial intelligence and a former special adviser on science and technology, makes this argument in a letter to the government of his nation. Phillips is concerned that European governments are handing over control of the development of AGI (Artificial general intelligence) to several US private companies.
“Agent” kinds of AGI may also represent an existential threat to human security, and this development will have an unparalleled influence on our civilization.” According to James Phillips, the current course of AGI development is intrinsically risky.
He continues by outlining three methods for preserving democratic influence over the direction the globe will take.
- Get a national supercomputing infrastructure for AI on par with the top commercial labs in the US.
- Create an advisory council of researchers (rather than academic scientists) working at the leading edge of AI development to determine the most important AI research initiatives to be launched on this infrastructure.
- Create an elite government research lab under the direction of a leader with technical expertise and business acumen to create a research program for the frontier of AI development practice at the national level.
James Phillips drives the clincher of the case in his conclusion:
- This century is the most significant in human history since it marks the start of the intellectual revolution.
- The current course of AI development is uncontrolled, mysterious, and dangerous.
- The UK has the ability to drive AI development in a positive manner, but the current scientific leadership and institutions have wasted this opportunity for more than ten years.
- In today’s cutthroat market, our competitive advantage is eroding.
- The most crucial factor is once again that strong supercomputers are required for the advancement of AI.
“Unfortunately, the UK public sector now only has less than 1,000 excellent AI GPUs. This indicates that one private lab in California is currently training a single model using at least 25 times the amount of computer power that is available globally.”
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