AI Leaders Warn of Growing Risks and Ethical Concerns in Rapid Advancements
In a recent policy statement, prominent figures in the field of AI, including Bengio, Hinton, Russell, Harari, and Kahneman, have sounded the alarm on the rapid progress and growing societal risks associated with AI.
AI is developing quickly. GPT-2 couldn’t count from 0 to 100 four years ago, but modern models can write code, make amazing images, and offer intellectual guidance. And because we are in a race, progress can pick up even more speed. Furthermore, AI advances more quickly by, for instance, assisting in the programming of new systems and the gathering of data for their training.
Once progress hits human levels, there’s no reason to think it will slow down or stop. In certain regions, artificial systems have already outperformed humans in this regard, exhibiting capabilities such as faster processing speeds, greater data processing capacities, and large-scale scalability. Businesses possess the financial means to implement training programmes that far exceed the current cap.
The authors think that there is a good chance that a better AI generalist will emerge within the next ten years or so, surpassing human capabilities in many important domains.
What’s going to occur next? All lives can be improved if they are properly managed and distributed. The poorly chosen option entails significant risks for which we are ill-prepared. Rather than being allocated to safety and harm prevention, significant resources are being used to build AI systems that are ever more potent. This needs to change; pursuing skills by themselves is insufficient. And this process is taking longer than expected. We need to plan for higher risks before they arise by anticipating the escalation of current threats and the appearance of new ones. We don’t have the same amount of time for AI as it is taking decades to be accepted in relation to climate change.
Numerous risks at the societal level exist, including a rise in injustice, a deterioration of stability, and a deterioration of the common perception of reality. Here, terrorists and criminals are engaged in extensive activity. AI could become concentrated in the hands of a few number of players, leading to increased global inequality, facilitating automated warfare, mass manipulation that is tailored to each individual, and ubiquitous surveillance.
As autonomous AI becomes more sophisticated and is able to plan, act in the world, and achieve its objectives, these risks will only rise. These objectives might not be in our best interests and, in the case of bad actors, might even be detrimental. It’s currently unclear how to resolve the issue of AI Alignment, which involves matching AI behaviour with our intricate objectives. Furthermore, it is very simple to overlook safety precautions when racing with the intention of winning.
Regular software is difficult for humans to control, let alone sophisticated AI systems that are becoming increasingly adept at social engineering, hacking, deceit, and strategic planning. This is something that autonomous AI systems can pick up from people or create on their own.
These systems have the ability to build coalitions with individuals and other systems, win over trust, secure funding, and sway decision-makers. Like a worm, they are capable of self-replication throughout the network. Massive amounts of code are already written with the assistance of AI assistants; in the future, systems may incorporate exploits into numerous crucial systems. AI systems have the ability to use or threaten biological or autonomous weapons in open combat. This is merely a continuation of the current movements towards biological research, artificial intelligence, and the automation of warfare. People might find it too challenging to step in and resist.
In many cases, we are willing to give them the reins without them even having to ask. Many individuals and businesses are willing to put such systems in place themselves in a competitive setting out of concern that they will fall behind the competition.
The full document can be found here.
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