AI Pioneer Yoshua Bengio Joins Musk's Crusade: Is AI Progress a Democracy Disrupter?

Renowned AI pioneer Yoshua Bengio reaffirms his support for Elon Musk’s camp against rapid artificial intelligence developments

What Happened: Joining a growing group of AI experts sounding the alarm about the swift deployment of powerful large language models, Bengio, who, along with Geoffrey Hinton and Yann LeCun received the Turning Award in 2018, has cautioned that the rapid introduction of AI products by big tech companies has become problematic. 

In an interview with Financial Times, Bengio warned that AI systems like OpenAI’s chatGPT have the potential to disrupt democracy unless governments promptly take action to safeguard and “protect the public.”

See Also: 61% Of Americans Think AI Could Spell The End Of Humanity, Echoing Elon Musk’s Warning: Report

Bengio raised concerns about the widespread accessibility of LLM in society, emphasizing the lack of current scrutiny surrounding this technology. He emphasized that the race to adopt technologies like GPT-4 creates a harmful cycle.

Last month, Bengio joined over 1,000 AI experts and tech executives, including Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, in signing an “open letter” that called for a six-month halt in developing advanced AI systems.

While he expressed skepticism about the letter’s effectiveness, Bengio supported the idea of a temporary suspension, the report noted. 

He stated, “From what I hear, there are different opinions on this within OpenAI, Microsoft, and even Google.” “The whole community is kind of divided on this question.”

“If you want humanity and society to survive these challenges, we can’t have the competition between people, companies, countries — and a very weak international coordination,” he added.

Why It’s Important: Bengio’s warnings coincide with the race among technology companies to launch revolutionary generative AI products. For instance, Google has introduced a revamped search engine powered by its new AI systemPaLM2

Bengio’s friend Hinton, recently left Alphabet Inc.’s subsidiary Google saying he wanted to talk more freely about the risks posed by the technology. 

Hinton, who is also known as the “Godfather of AI,” also said that risks posed by AI to humanity could be more pressing than those of climate change.

In contrast, tech experts like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Jürgen Schmidhuber, once described as the “Father of AI,” think that the calls to halt AI developments are misdirected

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