The Godfather of AI Thinks It Will Kill All of Humanity

A close up of a Terminator robot from the Terminator franchise
Credit: Skydance

A close up of a Terminator robot from the Terminator franchise
Credit: Skydance

The evolution of AI has become a major push in the technology industry, with many major companies looking to capitalize on the latest trend. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and Apple consider AI a cornerstone of the market right now, but even the man you could call the Godfather of AI is now warning about its popularity.

Whether you're diving into the best AI chatbots daily, using various Galaxy AI features, or waiting for the rumored iOS 18 AI features, companies are trying to make AI a daily part of our lives, even though the number of people using it is remarkably small. Despite the low adoption rate, some Google employees, alongside the Godfather of AI, have written an open letter warning of its risks.

Signed by 13 former OpenAI and Google DeepMind employees and endorsed by Geoffrey Hinton, the letter highlights the dangers of AI. Hinton, who originally joined a company called DNNresearch, which Google acquired in 2013, left Alphabet Inc. in 2023 to freely speak up about AI risks. He even regrets part of his life's work in the technology.

"These risks range from the further entrenchment of existing inequalities, to manipulation and misinformation, to the loss of control of autonomous AI systems potentially resulting in human extinction," the letter reads, adding evidence of how companies, governments, and AI experts have acknowledged these risks too.

The 13 writers hope companies using or building AI will be unable to enforce non-disparagement contracts, must facilitate whistleblowing processes, and must foster a culture that allows open criticism and feedback without retaliating against employees who speak up about risks.

While AI isn't at the point where it can dominate the world like the Terminator's antagonistic Skynet, it has already had some harmful effects. Whether it's Google AI telling you to chug urine, users creating AI-generated nudes of celebrities, or Copilot creating harmful images, the risks are already present, and these experts believe they could get worse.

As tools like ChatGPT 4o and OpenAI's video-generation tool, Sora, become more accessible, this open letter suggests the negative ramifications could far outweigh the positive benefits of AI. With such a range of voices with extensive knowledge in the industry, it's hard to discredit their concerns. Hopefully, AI companies and governments are listening to these warnings.

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