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Yuval Harari Warns That Civilization’s ‘Master key’ is at Stake With the Rise of A.I.

Fortune via Yahoo Finance | | March 24, 2023

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Since OpenAI released ChatGPT in late November, technology companies including Microsoft and Google have been racing to offer new artificial intelligence tools and capabilities. But where is that race leading?

  • Hararia shared his thoughts Friday in a New York Times op-ed written with Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin, founders of the nonprofit Center for Humane Technology, which aims to align technology with humanity's best interests.
    • They argue that artificial intelligence threatens the “foundations of our society” if it’s unleashed in an irresponsible way.
    • “deploying humanity’s most consequential technology,” the race to dominate the market “should not set the speed.” Instead, he argues, “We should move at whatever speed enables us to get this right.
    • Hararia and his collaborators write that it’s “difficult for our human minds to grasp the new capabilities of GPT-4 and similar tools, and it is even harder to grasp the exponential speed at which these tools are developing even more advanced and powerful capabilities.”
    • Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates wrote on his blog this week that the development of A.I. is “as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone.” He added, “entire industries will reorient around it. Businesses will distinguish themselves by how well they use it.”

See:  Microsoft’s AI Chatbot is an Emotionally Manipulative Liar (and some people love it)

  • Why so dangerous?  A.I. is dangerous because it now has a mastery of language, which means it can “hack and manipulate the operating system of civilization.”
    • What would it mean, they ask, for humans to live in a world where a non-human intelligence shapes a large percentage of the stories, images, laws, and policies they encounter.
    • “A.I. could rapidly eat the whole of human culture—everything we have produced over thousands of years—digest it, and begin to gush out a flood of new cultural artifacts.”
  • Hararia and his collaborators argue that the time to reckon with A.I. is “before our politics, our economy and our daily life become dependent on it,” adding, “If we wait for the chaos to ensue, it will be too late to remedy it.”

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