Artificial intelligence is progressing at an insane rate — with new models like GPT-4 proving how quickly AI can improve. There are many questions regarding the threat AI poses to humanity’s existence. While some believe AI will doom us all, not everyone is ready to buy into the doom and gloom.
The possibility that artificial intelligence could wipe out humanity is not new. It’s been shown time and again in sci-fi movies and TV shows. Despite how science fiction it might seem, the progress we’ve seen recently hasn’t stopped many from latching onto the AI threat to human existence.
Many believe that if AI is too intelligent it will eventually learn to be more intelligent and ultimately kill all humanity. Why? Well, because it’s smarter than us, of course. But, one AI researcher isn’t convinced this outcome will happen.
In fact, AI researcher Julian Togelius is so unconvinced about the AI threat to human existence that he compared it to a ridiculous argument that Elden Ring, a video game released in 2022, will exterminate humanity. It sounds absurd, I know, but Togelius claims that AI is a threat to humanity’s existence. Of course, it isn’t the same, right? Elden Ring is just a video game — a piece of software. Artificial intelligence is bigger than you think. Not according to Togelius.
“The intuitive response to this is that Elden Ring is ‘not AI’. GPT-4, Stable Diffusion, and AlphaGo are all ‘AI.’ Therefore, they are more dangerous,” he writes in a blog discussing the AI threat to human existence.
“But ‘AI’ is just the name for a field of researchers and the various algorithms they invent and papers and software they publish. We call the field AI because of a workshop in 1956, and because it’s good PR,” he continues in his post.
But Elden Ring can’t modify or spread itself over the internet. How does it measure up to AI’s intelligence? For starters, Togelius says there is currently no AI capable of this. Computer viruses, which are known to be around for many decades, can do this.
Is Elden Ring an existential risk to humanity? That is the question I consider in my new blog post. Yes, it is a comment on the superintelligence/x-risk debate. Read the full thing here:https://t.co/KNE9yxpStQOr follow along for a few tweets first, if you prefer. pic.twitter.com/J7vp3JTtdI
— Julian Togelius (@togelius) April 4, 2023
Sure, computer viruses can cause a lot of trouble, especially if they get into the systems behind large companies. A computer virus will not wipe out the human race. It is absurd to say that AI is a threat to humanity’s existence.
The critical difference, of course, is the intelligence factor we often portray with AI. Togelius warns that it’s not important to focus too heavily on this single word. It is only one component of the whole equation. Making something more intelligent doesn’t necessarily make it capable of ruling the world or posing a threat to human existence.
Of course, Togelius is not the only one who disagrees with him. Just recently, we saw one of the pioneers of AI admitting that there was a slight chance that the AI threat to human existence could prove true. However, the chance is small, and these are just the personal beliefs of people involved in the field.
Whether or not AI poses a threat to humanity is still a point of contention. It is up to you to decide what to believe. AI is it a threat? Or a tool for the future? That’s a question we all have to answer for ourselves. Julian Togelius says there’s no reason to be afraid of AI.
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