Alan Turing awardee Yann LeCun says fears of AI threatening humanity are “preposterously ridiculous”
Meta scientist Yann LeCun, an Alan Turing award winner and one of the three Godfathers of AI has played down the fears of AI threatening humanity.
The debate around the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) is at an all-time high as the European Union passed the AI Regulation bill on Wednesday. For months, many prominent people like Elon Musk and Sam Altman as well as two of the three Godfathers of AI, Yoshua Bengio and Geoffrey Hinton, have been protesting the unprecedented rise of AI and have called for government regulation in space raising concerns of a superintelligent AI causing the extinction of humanity. However, the third Godfather of AI, Yann LeCun, has shunned these fears and has called them “preposterously ridiculous”.
Professor LeCun also won the Alan Turing Award in 2018 along with Hinton and Bengio, and they are collectively regarded as the Godfathers of AI. However, LeCun has a different opinion on AI than his contemporaries. In an event for invited press, where he spoke about his own work in the field of AI, he also addressed the concerns around this emerging technology.
Answering a question, he said, “Will AI take over the world? No, this is a projection of human nature on machines,” reported BBC. He also added that keeping AI research “under lock and key” would be a huge mistake.
Yann LeCun speaks on dangers of AI
He also addressed the comments that AI could pose a risk to humanity and explained that these fears exist because people have not reached a stage where they can even clearly define these risks, which is a precursor before solving these problems.
He likened the situation with a hypothetical analogy and said, “It's as if you asked in 1930 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”. He argued that similarly AI can be made safer as well.
Fears of AGI
Alongside artificial intelligence, there are fears for artificial general intelligence (AGI), where AI reaches superintelligence and goes sentient. Speaking on AGI, he said some believe scientists will “get to turn on a super-intelligent system that is going to take over the world within minutes”. He added, "That's you know just preposterously ridiculous."
Will AI destroy jobs?
Finally, speaking about the fears of whether AI will take away jobs, he said, “This 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”.
In fact, LeCun is of the opinion that AI can bring about “a new renaissance for humanity”, much like how the internet or printing press did.