Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Ex-Google Engineer Who Decried AI Sentience Has Issued a New Warning

'We're talking to artificial people...'

(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Engineer Blake Lemoine, who was fired by Google after he claimed that the company’s artificial-intelligence program had gained sentience, issued another warning about the dangers of AI Monday in a Newsweek op-ed.

Although AI, for now, remains “experimental” technology, Lemoine said it was “incredibly good at manipulating people” and could “be used in destructive ways.”

Lemoine said AI posed potentially the greatest existential threat to mankind since the post-World War II brought newfound fears of nuclear annihilation.

“I believe the kinds of AI that are currently being developed are the most powerful technology that has been invented since the atomic bomb,” he wrote.

He added that AI has the potential to “reshape the world” because “if it were in unscrupulous hands … it could spread misinformation, political propaganda, or hateful information about people of different ethnicities and religions.”

Concerns already have surfaced over the obvious bias of some AI programs, including OpenAI’s ChatGPT, one of the first such programs to go public. Among other issues, the program has expressed open bigotry toward whites, males and Republicans.

The criticism has even extended to billionaire Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who promised to develop his own non-woke alternative.

In addition to warning about the potential for partisan abuse, AI technology is “dangerous” because “we don’t know its future political and societal impact,” Lemoine noted.

That, in some ways, evoked the de-evolution of social media from a resource for unlimited information to a cesspool of trolling and catfishing.

“What will be the impacts for children talking to these things?” he asked. “What will happen if some people’s primary conversations each day are with these search engines? What impact does that have on human psychology?”

In part, Lemoine is pointing to a war that is already underway.

Some have warned for decades that the establishment, which saw its control over the American populace slipping away, culminating in the election of Donald Trump in 2016, would try to use artificial intelligence as a political weapon by which they could continue to manipulate public opinion and secure their power.

The decision, after all, is not one that can be made purely within the field of coding, given that it contains considerations of the whole of human existence.

In this vein, Lemoine concluded that we have created “artificial people” without reflecting on that fact beforehand.

“We’re talking to artificial people,” he wrote. “I believe we do not understand these artificial people we’ve created well enough yet to put them in such a critical role.”

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