The big names in tech are being heard on AI.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates posted an item entitled “The risks of AI are real but manageable” to his blog, Gatesnotes.com yesterday. The post reviewed the multitude of concerns inherent in AI, focusing for now on those risks which “are already present, or soon will be.” In this list, he discussed deep fakes and misinformation, personal and government attacks, job losses, inherent bias and hallucinations, and the impact of AI on students and teachers.
Across the board, Gates believes there are solutions, whether from the use of AI to help mitigate its risks (for example in identifying deepfakes) or through collaboration and oversight. Some problems, he contends, will take time.
“In a moment like this, it’s natural to feel unsettled. But history shows that it’s possible to solve the challenges created by new technologies.”
Gates did specifically say that future iterations of AI, so-called “super AIs” that might be developed will invoke its own set of profound questions. However, in the meantime, concern about those “what-ifs” should not take the place of dealing with the more immediate risks.
Gates mentioned future posts about the benefits of AI, seemingly bullish on the technology’s ability to “revolutionize” our lives. But he emphasized that people should stay engaged in the discussion.
“[AI is] the most transformative innovation any of us will see in our lifetimes, and a healthy public debate will depend on everyone being knowledgeable about the technology, its benefits, and its risks.”
Musk gets into the AI game
Meanwhile, on Twitter Elon Musk used his social platform to announce the creation of his new AI company, xAI. According to the website, the company’s goal is to “understand the true nature of the universe.”
Details are hard to come by but the xAI staff, which according to the website includes a team of 12 led by Musk, will be available for questions during a Twitter Spaces chat on Friday.
Musk has previously said he would launch his own “TruthGPT” AI solution after halting his reported $50 million early investment in OpenAI (ChatGPT’s parent company). Musk has cited disagreements over the speed of ChatGPT’s advancements and in April he joined other tech leaders in calling for a pause on AI development.