HYPOCRISY! Big Tech Warns of ‘Extinction’ Risk…Continue Developing AI

June 1st, 2023 4:11 PM

Hypocrisy abounds as top executives at Big Tech companies sign an open letter begging mankind to see the development of artificial intelligence as a “global threat” while continuing to reap the benefits of its development.

The Center for AI Safety published a doom and gloom open letter Tuesday, May 30th calling on leaders to mitigate “the risk of extinction” from the technology by making regulation a “global priority.” The letter specifically warns against the “urgent risks” AI poses to humanity: 

“AI experts, journalists, policymakers, and the public are increasingly discussing a broad spectrum of important and urgent risks from AI,” a statement on the website prefacing the letter reads. “Even so, it can be difficult to voice concerns about some of advanced AI’s most severe risks.”

The goal of the letter is to “overcome this obstacle” and “open up discussion” about the risks AI poses. “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war,” the letter reads.

“Big Tech executives signing open letters and giving warnings about the potential dangers of AI means very little if their actions do not follow their words,” said MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “How can we take Big Tech executives seriously on AI when many of the same talking heads calling for caution are actively participating in an arms race that may proliferate the very dangers that they say they are concerned about?”

Here’s where it gets hypocritical. The signatories of the letter can be filtered to list those who are “AI scientists” versus those who are “other notable figures.” The list names several in the Big Tech world who are pushing ahead with AI development, including Demis Hassabis the CEO of Google DeepMind; Google DeepMind Principal Scientist Ian Goodfellow; “Godfather of AI” and former Google employee Geoffrey Hinton; Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI; OpenAI Co-Founder John Schulman; Microsoft Chief Scientific Officer Eric Horvitz; Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, among others.

Google executive Hassabis’s support of the letter is particularly notable since he recently wrote in a blog post that the newly-formed Google DeepMind will “deliver AI research and products that dramatically improve the lives of billions of people, transform industries, advance science, and serve diverse communities.” He added confidently: “By creating Google DeepMind, I believe we can get to that future faster.” [Emphasis added.]

MRC Free Speech America has reported that several companies, led by OpenAI, LinkedIn parent company Microsoft and Google, are determined to push ahead with AI advancement despite having company signatories who are warning against the advancement. The OpenAI CEO even admitted that “significant harm” could happen in “a lot of different ways” but claimed his company solves that problem. “It's why we started the company,” he boasted.

Although Tesla CEO Elon Musk has not signed the letter as of the publishing of this article, he is perhaps the most notable figure calling for more government regulation of AI development at the moment, despite the fact that he has and still does profit from its development himself. Musk was one of the founders of OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, and recently founded his own AI company, X.AI. Tesla has also long thrived off of AI development. He did, however, sign a different open letter that calls for a six-month pause on AI development.

“I've been pushing hard for a long time. I met with a number of senior senators and Congress, people of Congress, in the White House to advocate for AI regulation, starting with an insight committee that is formed of independent parties as well as perhaps participants from the leaders in the industry,” Musk said of his efforts in a recent interview with Thorold Barker at The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council Summit, calling AI a “double-edged sword.”

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