Another “godfather” of artificial intelligence has added his voice to the increasing group of academics who are worried about the possible risks posed by the technology. Professor Yoshua Bengio, a well-known computer scientist and pioneer in deep learning, recently opened up in a BBC interview about feeling “lost” about his life’s work. His remarks come shortly after Geoffrey Hinton, another significant person in AI, resigned from his position at Google to openly warn the dangers of AI.
Professor Bengio’s remarks coincide with a statement released by the Center of AI Safety (CAIS), a research nonprofit, emphasizing the need to prioritize mitigating the risks of AI to prevent potential human extinction. The statement, signed by notable AI scientists including Bengio and Hinton, as well as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, emphasizes the urgent need for global attention to this issue.
The CAIS highlights several ways in which AI could pose catastrophic risks, including its potential use as a political weapon. Concerns over AI’s interference in election integrity have been raised, with Altman expressing significant worry on the matter during a recent Senate committee hearing. Professor Bengio echoed these concerns, emphasizing the need for AI companies to be registered and tracked by governments, similar to regulations imposed on other sectors such as aviation, automobile manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals.
To ensure the safe development and deployment of AI, Professor Bengio stressed the importance of ethical training and certification for those working closely with AI systems. He noted that computer scientists typically do not receive such training, highlighting a critical gap in the field.
Since its potential and effects are not yet completely known, regulating AI continues to be difficult on a global scale. Recognizing the seriousness of the problem, US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris recently met with important members of the tech sector, including Altman, to discuss the risks associated with AI and the obligation of businesses to uphold privacy and security.
There is a growing understanding among AI experts, such as Professor Bengio and Geoffrey Hinton, that there is a need for preventative measures to be taken in order to manage the hazards connected with AI. Society may work to embrace the revolutionary power of AI while reducing its potential harm to humans by placing a high priority on international cooperation, ethical education, and strong legislation.