Google Deepmind Chief Calls Meta’s AI Criticisms ‘Preposterous’
Google DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis hit back against criticisms from Meta Platforms Inc.’s chief AI scientist.
DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis hit back against criticisms from Meta Platforms Inc.'s chief AI scientist — who had criticized him and others in the industry for playing up the existential risks of the technology — calling them preposterous.
Hassabis was responding to a post earlier this week from Meta's Yann LeCun, who said that some leaders were needlessly hyping doomsday scenarios and providing ammunition to those who want to ban open-source AI research and development. LeCun argued that that approach would put the control of future AI systems in the hands of just a few companies, which would be a “catastrophe.”
“We want to make sure we get the benefits of the innovation and the promise that the technology clearly holds,” Hassabis said in an interview on Bloomberg Television from the UK's AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park on Wednesday. “But we've got to do it in a responsible way. I would say using a scientific method, trying to have as much foresight on the technology as possible. So we predict ahead of time what the unintended consequences might be.”
The UK's AI Safety Summit has brought together leaders from the US, Asia and Europe to agree to protect against risks from the most advanced “frontier” AI systems. While missing some key leaders that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had hoped to include, the summit was able to issue a joint statement on Wednesday from 28 nations to agree to work together on a common approach to AI.
Hassabis said that in addition to addressing near-term pitfalls, such as watermarking generated images and audio to prevent deepfakes from being passed off as genuine, it was necessary to have some international agreement on the longer-term risks of the technology.
“Maybe they're a decade away plus, but you don't want to be dealing with those types of things on the eve of something like artificial general intelligence happening,” he said. “We want to be well prepared well ahead of time.”