Bill Gates: Artificial Intelligence Won’t Be as “Gloomy” as Predicted

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, during the EEI 2023 event in Austin, Texas, USA on Monday, June 12.

Bill Gates says estimates of how good or bad AI will be are exaggerated. ordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg – Getty Images

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is doubling down on his support for artificial intelligence, dismissing fears that the technology could destroy humanity and take over the world.

The billionaire philanthropist has long been a cautious proponent of the technology, having worked with Sam Altmans OpenAI since 2016. Microsoft has since poured $13 billion into the creator of ChatGPT.

In a post on his GatesNotes website, foundation founder Bill and Melinda Gates compared large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard to other disruptive innovations like cars and nuclear weapons.

Both had filled the public with fear, Gates pointed out, yet, through a series of guardrails, had been transformed into a usable form.

We didn’t ban cars, we adopted speed limits, safety standards, licensing requirements, drink-driving laws and other rules of the road, wrote Gates, who just helped mint another AI unicorn.

While the world’s nuclear non-proliferation regime has its flaws, it prevented the all-out nuclear war that my generation was so afraid of when we were growing up.

Using nuclear weapons as an example, Gates suggested regulators should look to history for a blueprint on how to handle chatbot development.

He explained: For example, it will have a big impact on education, but also portable calculators a few decades ago and more recently the introduction of computers in the classroom. We can learn from what has worked in the past.

The upshot, Gates believes, is that the future of AI isn’t as bleak as some think or as rosy as others think.

It’s this view that has previously drawn the ire of fellow tech titan, Tesla CEO Elon Musk. In response to an early essay by Gates on the power of LLMs, Musk lashed out: I remember my first meetings with Gates. His understanding of artificial intelligence was limited. It still is.

At the time, Musk was an early signatory to an open letter calling for a six-month break on developing something more advanced than OpenAI’s GPT-4 chatbot. The Twitter owner has since launched his own artificial intelligence company, xAI.

AI should be turned on itself

Gates also believes that the problems created by AI can also be combated by technology.

Take deepfakes created by a type of AI called deep learning that can produce realistic digitally altered video and images that Gates believes have the power to undermine elections and democracy, as well as cause a horrific emotional impact on individual victims.

Gates, who is reportedly worth $134 billion, said he was nonetheless confident, thanks to the fact that AI can not only create deepfakes, but also identify them. Intel, he pointed out, has developed a deepfake detector while the government’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working on technology to identify whether video or audio has been manipulated.

The 67-year-old is also cautiously optimistic that the security industry will be able to fight off more advanced hackers by using technology to their advantage.

AI can be used for both good and bad purposes, he wrote, stressing that government and private sector security teams must have access to the most up-to-date technology to combat such attacks.

Gates took a covert dig at Musk’s advocated development pause for this reason, writing: This is also why we shouldn’t try to temporarily stop people from implementing new developments in AI, as some have proposed.

Cybercriminals will not stop creating new tools. Nor do people who want to use artificial intelligence to design nuclear weapons and bioterrorist attacks. The effort to stop them must continue at the same pace.

Governments need to step up

Gates also addressed two of the public’s main concerns: job losses and changes to education.

On the job losses, of which Goldman Sachs has predicted, will be 300 million due to AIGates has placed the responsibility on governments and businesses: they will have to manage it well so that workers are not left behind to avoid the type of disruption in people’s lives that occurred during the decline in manufacturing jobs in the United States.

Across the board, from deepfakes to kids using ChatGPT to do homework, Gates told policymakers they need to be equipped to have an informed and thoughtful dialogue with their constituents, as well as how closely they will work with other countries on legislation. .

Finally, Gates gave his audience some advice: get involved.

It is the most transformative innovation any of us will see in our lifetime, and healthy public debate will depend on everyone being aware of the technology, its benefits and risks, he concluded.

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