AI News – May 11, 2023

Experts Urge Regulation to Mitigate AI’s Existential Threat and Health Risks

The development of artificial general intelligence (AI) poses not only a risk to the health of millions but also an existential threat to humanity, caution doctors and public health experts. In an article published in BMJ Global Health, these experts advocate for a pause in the advancement of self-improving AI until proper regulation is in place. While AI holds the potential to revolutionize healthcare, improving disease diagnosis and expanding access to care, its development also entails potential negative health impacts. Concerns raised by healthcare professionals from the UK, US, Australia, Costa Rica, and Malaysia highlight the potential for AI errors leading to patient harm, data privacy and security issues, as well as exacerbation of social and health inequalities.

The implications of AI extend beyond healthcare, with the potential for broad global threats to human health and existence. Doctors and experts express apprehension about the manipulation and control of individuals, the use of lethal autonomous weapons, and the mental health consequences of mass unemployment resulting from the displacement of human workers by AI systems. The article emphasizes the critical need for effective regulation to prevent harm. Given the exponential growth in AI research and development, the experts warn that urgent action is required to avoid serious and potentially existential risks. They call for the implementation of a moratorium on the development of self-improving artificial general intelligence until comprehensive regulation is established.1

AI Regulation Urged as Apple Co-Founder Highlights Scam Detection Challenges

Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, has raised concerns about the potential misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) by malicious actors, making it more difficult to identify scams and misinformation. Wozniak emphasized the need for clear labeling of AI-generated content and called for regulatory measures in the industry. Alongside Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Wozniak was one of over 1,800 signatories in a letter requesting a six-month halt to the development of powerful AI systems due to their perceived risks to humanity. Although acknowledging the benefits of AI, Wozniak warned that its sophisticated capabilities, such as OpenAI’s GPT-4, which can simulate human conversation and generate intelligent text, enable bad actors to deceive individuals effectively. He emphasized the importance of human responsibility in overseeing AI-generated content and urged regulators to hold big tech firms accountable. While acknowledging the inevitability of AI’s advancement, Wozniak advocated for educating people to recognize fraud and safeguard personal information. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, echoed the cautionary sentiment, stressing the need for a deliberate and thoughtful approach to AI integration, while prominent AI researcher Geoffrey Hinton expressed fears about the potential risks AI poses to humanity, including control and potential extinction.2

Google’s Search Engine Transformed by Artificial Intelligence

Google is undergoing a significant transformation as it integrates advanced artificial intelligence technology into its dominant search engine. This move is in response to the increasing threat posed to its longstanding position as the primary gateway to the internet. Following Microsoft’s adoption of similar AI-powered technology in its Bing search engine, Google is now rolling out gradual changes to enhance the capabilities of its search engine. Alongside this, Google has been testing its own conversational chatbot named Bard, powered by generative AI technology like ChatGPT. Previously available to a limited group, Bard will soon be accessible to users worldwide in multiple languages. This AI makeover marks a pivotal moment for Google, which has been synonymous with internet search for two decades and is a cornerstone of its massive digital advertising empire. The company is also introducing AI features in other products such as Gmail and photo editing tools.

However, Google faces the challenge of maintaining the reliability of its search results while grappling with the potential risks of AI-generated information. To address this, Google plans to cautiously incorporate generative AI into its search engine through a dedicated search lab, initially inviting users to join a waitlist for testing. The AI-generated results will be clearly labeled as experimental, distinct from Bard and ChatGPT, which have more human-like personas. To ensure accuracy and safety, Google will implement guardrails to prevent the AI from responding to sensitive health and finance questions, directing users to authoritative sources instead. With pressure mounting from competitors and the possibility of losing partnerships, Google aims to demonstrate the ability of its search engine to evolve with the impending AI-driven revolution. The company’s stock price initially took a hit due to the threat but rebounded after Google’s AI announcements.

As part of its AI initiatives, Google plans to improve Bard’s intelligence by leveraging next-generation language models such as Pathways Language Model 2 (PaLM2) and Multitask Unified Model (MUM). While the deployment of generative AI in search results remains to be seen, Google will soon introduce a new search filter called “Perspectives” to showcase online discussions about various topics.3

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