In an open letter 1,300 IT experts have rebuffed claims that advanced AI will destroy humanity. The British Computer Society (BCS), the U.K.’s Chartered Institute for IT, organized the message in response to growing fears that the technology will ultimately be our undoing.
In the letter, the experts argue that AI is a “force for good, not a threat to humanity.”
AI is a force for good
AI will be a force for good according to 1,300 industry experts. The message plays counterpoint to a number of pundits and industry experts who have talked up the threat in recent months – some going as far as to label AI as an existential threat.
A sizeable group of contrarian voices are now speaking up. Richard Carter, founder of an AI-powered cybersecurity business is one. Carter believes that the AI doomongers have overplayed their hand.
“Frankly, this notion that AI is an existential threat to humanity is too far-fetched. We’re just not in any kind of a position where that’s even feasible,” Carter told the BBC.
As for the letter itself, it states that: “The UK can help lead the way in setting professional and technical standards in AI roles, supported by a robust code of conduct, international collaboration and fully resourced regulation”.
The Brit-centric message went on to add that by doing so the U.K. could, “become a global byword for high-quality, ethical, inclusive AI.”
The fear of AI
Earlier in March this year a number of prominent tech leaders published an open letter calling for a “pause” in developing powerful AI systems. The letter from the Future of Life Foundation secured high-profile backers including Elon Musk.
“Powerful AI systems should be developed only once we are confident that their effects will be positive and their risks will be manageable,” said the letter which has 1,000 signatories.
Musk has since launched his own AI firm, xAI, suggesting that the tech billionaire may not call for any further pauses in the near future.
Musk is not the only figure to warn about AI. U.K. Government advisor and alarmist-in-chief, Matt Clifford, even went as far as to suggest that the technology could wipe out humanity in just two years.
The tables are turning
Even if AI does not snuff out humanity, there are other concerns. One of the most common worries is that AI will eventually take jobs away from ordinary workers.
Carter argues that this fear is also misguided. As Carter tells it, AI won’t replace humans, it will only make them more productive.
According to Carter, humans will always have a role in the workplace, even if it is simply to take responsibility when things go wrong.
“If you take the human completely out of the loop, how do you manage accountability for some sort of catastrophic event happening?”
Should he be right in his predictions AI will complete the vast majority of work in the future, and when something goes wrong, humans will step in to take responsibility.
In this hypothetical future, grandparents will undoubtedly regale their grandchildren with tales of a time when humans did the work, and if anything went wrong the computer took the blame.