Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a topic of fascination and fear for decades. While some believe it will revolutionize the world for the better, others warn that it could lead to our demise.
Ian Hogarth, a serial AI investor, falls into the latter category and has raised concerns about the pursuit of increasingly intelligent machines.
In a recent op-ed for the Financial Times, Hogarth shared an anecdote about a machine learning researcher who claimed that we are on the brink of developing Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). Hogarth was shocked by this admission, and rightly so.
AGI is essentially a “God-like AI” that can learn and develop autonomously, understand its environment without supervision, and potentially transform the world around it.
While experts disagree on when AGI will become a reality, the fact that some are actively seeking it out is cause for alarm.
Hogarth is not alone in his fears. Many machine learning experts and members of the public share his concerns.
The problem, however, is that the companies pursuing AGI seem to be running towards a finish line without any idea of what lies on the other side.
There is no plan to slow down and let the rest of the world have a say, and there is no oversight or democratic process to ensure that the development of AI is safe and responsible.
As a father, Hogarth worries about the world his son will grow up in, and he believes that consequential decisions that could affect every life on Earth should not be made by a small group of private companies.
He also worries that it will take a major misuse event or catastrophe to wake up the public and governments to the dangers of AGI.
While Hogarth plans to invest in startups that pursue AI more responsibly, he admits that he hasn’t gotten much traction with his counterparts.
The race to create God-like AI will likely continue, and it is up to all of us to pay attention and demand accountability from the companies and individuals developing AI.
The future of humanity may depend on it.