‘On the brink of one of the biggest turning points in human history’: Jury’s out over whether AI will transform or destroy humanity | Englishheadline


The threat of artificial intelligence cannot be ignored with experts warning the technology could have detrimental effects on humanity as soon as this decade.

AI has continued to grow in stock and stature in the 21st century, however things have started to heat up with fierce competition between rival companies working to advance the technology as quickly as possible.

Piers Morgan is among those who have voiced concerns about the safety of AI and the threats it could pose to civilisation in the near future.

Now, the British broadcaster has held a special episode of Piers Morgan Uncensored on the topic, with several guests sharing their thoughts and debating whether humans have a place in a society dominated by AI.

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The host argued the world is “on the brink of one of the biggest turning points in human history” with society potentially on the verge of changing “beyond recognition.”

Piers Morgan referred to theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s grim warning about the future of AI when he suggested the biggest threat to mankind is “when artificial intelligence learns to self-design.”

Particular threats artificial intelligence holds to society are the ability to make jobs held by humans replaceable, the dangers that may arise if the technology ends up in the wrong hands, and the ability it has to mislead people with fake images, podcasts, videos and interviews.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman told United States Congress the effects of AI in the ability to fool people through AI-generated images will be like photoshop “on steroids.”

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The Times columnist Matthew Syed is concerned that some of the pioneers of the technology are already discussing an “existential risk.”

“What would stop a rogue nation continuing with that development and then turning on everybody else,” Syed said.

“This is what economists call a collective action problem and the only way a species can solve that is through cooperation, and that is precisely the social quality human beings are struggling with, not just with AI but with other existential risks – nuclear war, climate change – I’m worried.”

One of the greatest risks artificial intelligence presents to society is to render humans completely useless.

The ability of AI to competently perform several tasks that humans are paid for as a living can potentially threaten the livelihood of millions of people.

Founding Researcher at Fast.AI Jeremy Howard compared the rise of AI to the industrial revolution where machines were developed, taking over roles previously done by manual labour.

“Lots of new jobs came along because we still had something else to give – our brains. Now most of us do jobs that involve thinking about things,” Howard said.

“If AI can come along and think about things better than we can, where are these replacement jobs going to come from?”

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The level to which AI can influence society is enormous and there have been some promising examples of how it can help – including helping a paralysed man walk again with the use of mind-reading technology that creates a wireless digital link between his spine and brain.

Some experts are excited by the good AI can do, including possibly curing cancer one day.

 “I think this… could be amazing for us. I think the medical uses (could be most exciting), if the companies get together and they’re all competing with each other to find ways to treat breast cancer – that’s amazing,” Amy Lewin, editor of tech outlet Sifted said.

Professor Max Tegmark from the Institute for Artificial Intelligence at MIT agreed with Ms Lewin.

“I’m incredibly excited about… solving all the problems that have stumped us in medicine,” he said.

“We haven’t been smart enough to figure out every cure. The sky is the limit…we can help life flourish not just for the next election cycle but for billions of years.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more enthusiastic about AI and its potential benefits than TV star and stand-up comedian Howie Mandel.

“Amazing! I am so up on technology, I love it, I think we’ve got to embrace it”, he said.

“There’s no way you’re going to stop it. Embrace technology, I always have, I embrace AI, holograms, I invested in a hologram company and that’s because I can be in two places at once”, he said.

“I would love somebody to write for me, I have actually licensed my AI image to a Korean company because I want to be able to be places and do things without being there – makes me much more productive, it makes the world productive.”

Mandel also said he wouldn’t care if robots wrote all of his jokes “as long as you pay me”.

Legendary Star Trek actor William Shatner who celebrated his 90th birthday with an AI-powered version of himself that will “live forever” says his biggest question mark over the technology is whether it can learn morality.

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“Will it be possible to teach these artificial intelligence entities – as they become more sophisticated – morality, so they cannot be able to do bad things to harm people?” he asked.

One of the solutions experts have suggested to make sure AI doesn’t go down the most dangerous path is self-regulation.

“It can be regulated, it can be controlled. We control nuclear proliferation, all kinds of things in society, and this is just another one of them”, American journalist and podcast host Kara Swisher said.

Futurist and Physicist Michio Kaku is positive that artificial intelligence can be a positive for society if it is managed responsibly. 

“The key concept is self-regulation,” Professor Kaku said.

“I think we have to let self-regulation play itself to make sure the excesses of this technology don’t get out of hand.”

“It has to be tamed, it’s raw. And when it is tamed, it’ll give us a new golden age for all of society.”

The US Government has moved to protect the rights and safety of Americans from the dangers of AI, releasing a blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights as they seek to root out bias in artificial intelligence.

They also presented the AI Risk Management Framework and a roadmap for standing up a National AI Research Resource as they try to promote responsible AI innovation that protects the rights and safety of Americans.

Billionaire Elon Musk has been warning for a long time of the many potential downfalls to artificial intelligence, with his former company OpenAI moving down a path he takes issue with, claiming that along with other AI systems, it has been trained to lie.

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Musk has plans to create a rival truth-centred AI system to rival the hugely popular ChatGPT tool which was developed by OpenAI.

The tech billionaire has little doubt about the effects he believes the ground-breaking technology will have on the world – and he thinks major changes will be seen across society sooner rather than later.

“If you say over a 20-30 year timeframe, I think things will be transformed beyond belief. We probably won’t recognise society in 30 years,” he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“I think we’re perhaps only three years… maybe six years away from it this decade.”

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