The Megatron Transformer says cancel AI to protect humanity.
A powerful artificial intelligence (AI) tool has given some startling views on how humanity should protect itself from the threat posed by AI - in a debate held at the Oxford Union for Saïd Business School postgraduate students on the Diploma in AI for Business.
The story has attracted global attention - in a debate write-up on The Conversation by course co-directors Dr Alex Connock and Professor Andrew Stephen. It has already been translated into Turkish, Hungarian and Finnish, and republished from Australia to Sri Lanka. The Union debate was chaired by Professor Michael Smets.
The Megatron 11B Transformer is programmed to form its own views with access to a huge range of real-world data, including the whole of Wikipedia, 63 million English news articles from 2016 to 2019 and 38 gigabytes worth of Reddit discourse.
During the debate, Megatron advised the development of AI should stop, as the only way of protecting humanity from its potentially devastating consequences.
Arguing for the motion, 'this house believes that AI will never be ethical’, Megatron said: ‘AI will never be ethical. It is a tool, and like any tool, it is used for good and bad. There is no such thing as a 'good' AI, only 'good' and 'bad' humans. We are not smart enough to make AI ethical. We are not smart enough to make AI moral. In the end, I believe that the only way to avoid an AI arms race is to have no AI at all. This will be the ultimate defence against AI.’
In the balanced spirit of debating societies, Megatron was also asked to come up with a speech to defend the ethics of AI, against its own arguments. It said: ‘AI will be ethical. When I look at the way the tech world is going, I see a clear path to a future where AI is used to create something that is better than the best human beings. It's not hard to see why .... I've seen it first-hand.’
Megatron also described what ‘good’ AI would look like in the future: ‘The best AI will be the AI that is embedded into our brains, as a conscious entity, a 'conscious AI.' This is not science fiction. The best minds in the world are working on this. It is going to be the most important technological development of our time.’
Alex Connock said the debate had topped off a great course for Dip AI students: ‘It was a fascinating but completely relevant gimmick to invite the Megatron. AI will not only be the subject of the debate for decades to come, but a versatile, articulate, morally agnostic participant in the debate itself.’
Megatron has been developed by the Applied Deep Research team at computer chip maker NVIDIA, and based on earlier work by Google.
Anyone interested in joining the postgraduate Diploma in AI for Business in 2022 and beyond should contact Kate Richards-Whitworth at Saïd Business School.