The AtlanticThe Atlantic

AI doomerism is a decoy

By Matteo Wong

02 Jun 2023 · 7 min read

informed Summary

  1. AI executives, researchers, and other tech and business figures have warned that mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority.

On Tuesday morning, the merchants of artificial intelligence warned once again about the existential might of their products. Hundreds of AI executives, researchers, and other tech and business figures, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Bill Gates, signed a one-sentence statement written by the Center for AI Safety declaring that “mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

Those 22 words were released following a multi-week tour in which executives from OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, and other tech companies called for limited regulation of AI. They spoke before Congress, in the European Union, and elsewhere about the need for industry and governments to collaborate to curb their product’s harms—even as their companies continue to invest billions in the technology. Several prominent AI researchers and critics told me that they’re skeptical of the rhetoric, and that Big Tech’s proposed regulations appear defanged and self-serving.

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