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Meta Scientist Dismisses Fear Of AI, Calls It “Preposterously Ridiculous”

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Meta Scientist Yann LeCun Dismisses AI Threat To Humanity, Calls It 'Preposterously Ridiculous'

Professor Yann LeCun is known as one of the three “godfathers of AI”. (Image: Yann LeCun/Facebook)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming modern life, but some experts fear it could take over the world or threaten human jobs. Ever since the launch of OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT, millions have also expressed their apprehension about potential job loss. However, now one of the three “godfathers of AI” has dismissed concerns that AI will dominate the world or lead to permanent job losses. 

According to the BBC, Meta’s top scientist Professor Yann LeCun said experts’ fears of AI posing a threat to humanity were “preposterously ridiculous”. Mr LeCun believes that there may come a time in future when computers would become more intelligent than humans, however, that will take years. His solution to all the apprehensions is that if anyone feels that AI was unsafe, they should simply not build it. 

Mr LeCun’s comments are contrary to other AI “godfathers”, Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio, who called artificial intelligence a threat to the human race. He stated that the whole idea of AI taking over the world is just a “projection of human nature on machines”. In fact, he added that it would be a “huge mistake” to keep AI research “under lock and key”. 

People who worried that AI might pose a risk to humans did so because they couldn’t imagine how it could be made safe, Mr LeCun argued, as per the BBC. “It’s as if you asked in 1930 to someone how are you going to make a turbo-jet safe? Turbo-jets were not invented yet in 1930, same as human level AI has not been invented yet. Turbo jets were eventually made incredibly reliable and safe,” and the same would happen with AI, he said.

Further, Mr LeCun also stated that there was “no question” that AI would overtake human intelligence. However, he added that researchers were missing some essential concepts to reach that level, which would take years if not decades to arrive. 

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According to the Meta scientist, when individuals express apprehensions about future machines operating at or beyond human-level capabilities, they are alluding to artificial general intelligence (AGI) – systems capable of solving a broad spectrum of problems, akin to human beings. 

He explained that the progress in AGI development would be gradual, potentially reaching a level of intelligence comparable to that of a rat’s brain. He stated that such an AI system would still operate within a controlled data centre environment and could be deactivated if necessary. “And if you realise it’s not safe you just don’t build it,” he added. 

Mr LeCun also told the BBC that AI is not going to put a lot of people out of work permanently. But work would change because we have “no idea” what the most prominent jobs will be 20 years from now, he said. 

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