The People Who Make AI Keep Saying AI Will Destroy Humanity

artificial intelligence

While photographers fret over artificial intelligence (AI) replacing them, the people who make AI models seem to be concerned that the world is about to end.

The last few weeks have seen an alarming trend of major players in AI warning that these models have the potential to “wipe out humanity.”

Just yesterday, PetaPixel reported on Emad Mostaque’s comments (the CEO of Stability AI) suggesting there is a complacency surrounding the technology.

“I don’t get folk who say there is no existential risk from AGI [artificial general intelligence],” he says. “There’s so many ways to wipe out humanity for something that can be more persuasive than anyone and replicate itself and gather any resources.”

Sam Altman at the Senate
Sam Altman of OpenAI at the Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

And then the week prior, Sam Altman (CEO of OpenAI) appeared before Congress begging for government regulation of the industry. “AI can go quite wrong,” he said in front of a subcommittee.

A man dubbed the “Godfather of AI” fears the day “killer robots” becomes a reality and even Elon Musk who co-founded OpenAI signed an open letter calling for a pause on “dangerous” AI experiments.

Where is AI Heading?

Many point to artificial general intelligence (AGI) as a huge turning point. Currently, AI systems rely heavily on human input but imagine an AI system that can carry out tasks independently. Essentially AGIs could have the ability for abstract thought and behave like humans.

Experts can’t agree when it will happen, some say it could be soon, others say it could be a century away.

But Bill Gates says that “superintelligent AIs are in our future” and they will most likely be able to establish their own goals.

“What will those goals be? What happens if they conflict with humanity’s interests? Should we try to prevent strong AI from ever being developed? These questions will get more pressing with time,” the Microsoft founder writes ominously.

After an initial huge buzz about AI over the winter, owing to the release of exciting models like ChatGPT and Midjourney. The chatter has died down a little bit as people integrate AI models into their life, such as photographers integrating generative AI into their work.

As we come to rely on AI more and more and accept it into our daily lives, will the expected invention of AGI prove to be a glorious benchmark in humanity’s history propelling us to greater heights? Or will it go rogue and kill us all?

A year ago, it wasn’t on many people’s radar that AI could create photo-realistic images or become useful personal assistants — things change fast and I expect AGI will be upon us sooner rather than later. I’m a glass half-full person so my prediction is that it will revolutionize the world for the better.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.