(ORDO NEWS) — The debate about whether artificial intelligence (AI) will ever be conscious or if it already is has made headlines around the world.
OpenAI lead researcher Ilya Sutskever tweeted his take on the issue and almost immediately saw backlash from many scientists in the field.
It all started when Sutzkever tweeted: “Perhaps today’s large neural networks are a bit conscious.”
This may seem like an innocuous enough statement, but it was met with an immediate backlash.
According to UNSW AI researcher Toby Walsh , this is because such findings raise concerns, and possibly influence the evolution of AI.
“Each time such speculative comments go on the air, it takes months of effort to bring the conversation back to the more realistic opportunities and threats posed by AI,” Walsh tweeted.
Independent sociologist Jurgen Geuter called this view unrealistic. He tweeted that “it is also possible that this approach has no real basis and is just a publicity stunt to claim magical technical capabilities for a startup.”
An associate professor at the Copenhagen University of Information Technology commented on Geither’s remarks.
“Perhaps somewhere between Earth and Mars there is a teapot orbiting the Sun,” he joked.
“It actually seems more reasonable than Ilya’s thinking, because orbiters exist and we have good ideas about teapots.”
Citi VP and deep learning expert Valentino Zocca added that the AI ”isn’t aware, but apparently the hype is more important than anything else.”
Of course, claims that AI can or has already become conscious cause people to fear. They understand that technology will take over sooner or later, but if there is evidence that technology is already approaching the next stage in the development of AI, why not start talking about it?
The problem seems to be that AI is not at the stage of awareness and probably never will be. However, only time will tell who is right and who is wrong.
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