Godfathers of tech warns AI firms must be held responsible for harm

25/10/2023

A GROUP of senior experts, including two “godfathers” of AI, have warned that AI companies must be held responsible for the harms caused by their products as powerful artificial intelligence systems threaten social stability.

The policy proposal was created by 23 experts which saw authors and academics also warn that the development of ever more powerful AI systems is ‘utterly reckless’ without a clear understanding of how to make them safe.

The warning was made ahead of the Bletchley Park AI Safety Summit which will see international politicians, tech companies, academics and civil society figures gather to discuss how AI can be developed safely, taking place next week. 

The document urged governments to adopt several policies and included recommendations  and opinions from Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio, two of the three “godfathers of AI” as well as a number of other experts within the field.

Tom Dunning, CEO of Ad Signal, commented:

“Developing universal policies and regulations to ensure AI is developed and used safely is absolutely vital, requiring collaboration from international stakeholders to avoid the destruction that AI could cause. AI is a powerful tool and the damage it is capable of must not be ignored, acting as a trigger for soaring emissions and poor carbon management.” 

“As the upcoming AI summit approaches, businesses, governments and public figures must come together to produce policies that protect our planet and address the carbon impact AI is contributing to. A focus must be on AI optimisation which will consequently allow businesses to improve operations while simultaneously limiting negative carbon impacts.”

Stuart Russell, professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley said: “It’s time to get serious about advanced AI systems. These are not toys. Increasing their capabilities before we understand how to make them safe is utterly reckless.”

He added: “There are more regulations on sandwich shops than there are on AI companies.”

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