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Don’t ask dumb robots if artificial intelligence will destroy humanity

Hanson and I talked about the idea of ​​adding real intelligence to these challenging machines. Ben Goertzel, a renowned artificial intelligence researcher and CEO of SingularityNET, is leading the effort to apply advances in machine learning to the software inside Hanson’s robots that allows them to respond to human speech.

The AI ​​behind Sophia can sometimes provide acceptable answers, but the technology is nowhere near as advanced as a system like GPT-4, which runs on the most advanced version of ChatGPT and costs more than $100 million. And of course, even ChatGPT and other advanced AI programs cannot intelligently answer questions about the future of AI. Perhaps it would be better to think of them as unnaturally skilled and talented mimics who, while capable of surprisingly complex reasoning, are deeply flawed and have only limited “knowledge” of the world.

Sofia’s interview and the misleading campaigns in Geneva are a reminder of how the anthropomorphization of AI systems can lead us astray. The history of artificial intelligence is full of examples of people over-extrapolating new advances in the field.

In 1958, at the dawn of artificial intelligence, The New York Times wrote about one of the first machine learning systems, a crude artificial neural network developed for the US Navy by Frank Rosenblatt, a Cornell psychologist. “Today, the Navy discovered the germ of an electronic computer that is expected to be able to walk, talk, see, write, reproduce itself and be aware of its own existence,” it said. Times reported – a bold claim about a circuit capable of learning to recognize patterns in 400 pixels.

If you look back at IBM Deep Blue’s coverage of the chess game, AlphaGo’s champion DeepMind Go player, and many of the leaps in deep learning over the past decade that stem directly from Rosenblatt’s machine, you see much of the same thing: people take every advance as if it were a sign of some deeper, more human-like mind.

That’s not to say that these designs—or even the creation of Sofia—were not remarkable feats or potentially steps toward more intelligent machines. But when it comes to assessing the progress of this powerful technology, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the capabilities of artificial intelligence systems. To understand the advances of artificial intelligence, the least we can do is stop asking stupid questions to animatronic puppets.

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