ChatGPT head signs statement warning AI can pose threat to human extinction

Researchers and technologists recently called for a six-month pause on AI development

artificial intelligence

Several scientists and tech industry leaders, including the head of OpenAI which developed ChatGPT, have signed a statement warning about threats artificial intelligence poses to humanity.

In the statement published on Center for AI Safety website, “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, and Geoffrey Hinton, a computer scientist known as the godfather of artificial intelligence, were among the hundreds of leading figures who signed the statement.

Worries about artificial intelligence systems outsmarting humans and running wild have intensified with the rise of a new generation of highly capable AI chatbots such as ChatGPT.

In a recent blog post on ChatGPT website, authored by OpenAI heads, “It’s conceivable that within the next ten years, AI systems will exceed expert skill level in most domains, and carry out as much productive activity as one of today’s largest corporations.” They added, “We must mitigate the risks of today’s AI technology too, but superintelligence will require special treatment and coordination.” 

More than 1,000 researchers and technologists, including Elon Musk, signed a letter earlier this year calling for a six-month pause on AI development because, they said, it poses profound risks to society and humanity.

Countries around the world are scrambling to come up with regulations for the developing technology, with the European Union blazing the trail with its AI Act expected to be approved later this year.

(With PTI inputs.)