“AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity, as shown by extensive research and acknowledged by top AI labs,” the letter reads in part. “AI research and development should be refocused on making today’s powerful, state-of-the-art systems more accurate, safe, interpretable, transparent, robust, aligned, trustworthy and loyal.”
But that letter quickly drew controversy after some researchers mentioned in the letter criticized its use of their work. At the same time, other signatures of the letter were revealed to be fake.
On last Friday’s episode of theCUBE podcast, theCUBE industry analyst John Furrier said what was presented as thousands of signatures from an independent organization quickly revealed itself as being not so independent.
“It’s been reported as an astroturfing firm. Elon Musk, he’s invested in it, so it’s essentially creating fake momentum around something that doesn’t even exist,” Furrier said. “Elon Musk was involved with OpenAI, tried to take over the company, and then got booted or left. This effort was clearly a way for him to get into the mud and cause all kinds of trolling on OpenAI.”
The letter, in the view of theCUBE industry analyst Dave Vellante, was an effort from competitors to slow down OpenAI and Microsoft.
“It’s going to have the opposite effect. It’s like, ‘Don’t look over there!’” Vellante said. “For people outside of tech who don’t know what ChatGPT is, now they’re going to be poking around at it.”
Vellante said he had spoken to an individual who closely follows artificial intelligence.
“And he said, ‘What happens after six months?’ I thought that was right on. I mean, are other nations going to sign on for this? Or is it like climate change?” Vellante asked.
Though it may be fun to talk and think about doomsday scenarios — that jobs will be lost, civilization will collapse, and humans will lose control to the machines — Furrier characterized such scenarios as nonsense, adding that the reality is that the technology is still in its early stages. Despite that, misinformation is a legitimate concern.
“You’re going to see a lot of misinformation with these tools. But with misinformation, you’re going to have solutions. This is the beginning of what I think is, again, the generational shift of new kinds of startups. Problems create opportunities,” Furrier said.
Last week, SiliconANGLE reported the breaking news that ChatGPT had been banned by Italian regulators over privacy concerns. That sets governmental response to these new platforms into a new ballgame, according to Vellante.
“In the early days of tech, the governments would literally be like two decades behind, and then they’d say, ‘Oh, wow, we’ve got to look into this.’ But that timeframe as been compressing,” Vellante said. “Now, they’re right there.”
On a past episode of the podcast, Vellante and Furrier discussed Representative Richard Hudson questioning the chief executive of TikTok on how Wi-Fi connectivity works.
“They’ve now compressed the timeframe, but the governments don’t really know what they’re doing,” Vellante said. “They don’t really have good answers, and then it becomes political.”
Crypto in major Chinese banks
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission this week sued Binance and its founding Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao, citing “numerous violations” of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations. On this week’s podcast, Furrier also cited Chinese banks offering crypto firms safe harbor in Hong Kong.
“What’s your take on this?” Furrier asked Vellante. “Because this is also China setting up in Hong Kong. What’s the international banking system look like? What’s the role of the United States? It’s clear the United States is clamping down on all crypto activity to reign in all the chaos.”
To add to that, Vellante cited U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Chief Technology Officer Michael Kagan recently saying that cryptocurrencies did not “bring anything useful for society.”
“[Kagan] says it adds nothing useful to society. Well, neither do a lot of financial products that are simply designed to make more money for New Yorkers with homes in the Hamptons, like crappy baskets of mortgage-backed securities,” Vellante said.
That was just some of the conversation on last Friday’s episode of theCUBE podcast. If you’re a listener, let Furrier and Vellante know on Twitter what subjects you’d like to hear discussed on the next episode.