Meta's Top AI Scientist Debunks Fear of AI Existential Risk

NNicholas October 20, 2023 7:06 AM

Yann LeCun, Chief AI Scientist at Meta, argues that worries over the existential threat of artificial intelligence (AI) to humanity are premature. He also notes that regulating AI research and development could hinder competition and further solidify the dominance of Big Tech firms.

LeCun downplays AI existential risk

Yann LeCun, Chief AI Scientist at Meta, has dismissed fears concerning the existential risk posed by artificial intelligence (AI). According to LeCun, these fears are still premature and even preposterous. His comments come in the wake of a growing debate on AI's potential threat to humanity, with many industry thought leaders increasingly voicing their concerns.

Premature regulation of AI criticized

LeCun warns that prematurely regulating AI technology could be detrimental. He argues that such regulation could strengthen the dominance of Big Tech firms, leaving little room for competition. He further contends that the premise of AI safety is being used as a guise for what he calls 'regulatory capture'.

LeCun also dismisses assertions that current AI models are fully capable, noting that they don't understand how the world works and lack the ability to plan or reason. He further comments that it's very premature to debate existential risk until we have a system that can rival a cat's learning capabilities, something he believes we currently don't have.

AI's prospective role in everyday life

Despite the concerns and limitations, LeCun expects AI to eventually play a significant role in managing our everyday lives. He believes that our interaction with the digital world will be significantly mediated by AI systems. This view points towards a future where AI becomes more integrated into daily life, despite its current limitations.

Despite LeCun's dismissal of the existential threat posed by AI, fears surrounding the technology's power remain prevalent. The AI task force advisor in the United Kingdom, for instance, has warned that AI could potentially pose a threat to humanity within the next two years. This highlights an ongoing debate about the potential risks and benefits associated with AI.

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