According to a retired professor of computer science at Oregon State University today’s large neural network artificial intelligence are already slightly conscious.
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In a recent Twitter post, the co-founder of a San Francisco-based Artificial Intelligence research lab stated that “today’s largest neural networks” may already be “slightly conscious.”
OpenAI’s Ilya Sutskever did not specify which system or systems he was talking about, nor did he define “slightly conscious” in any way.
It’s likely that he was talking about OpenAI’s GPT-3, an advanced language processing system designed for translation, question answering, and word replacement.
Sutskever’s cryptic tweet soon sparked a debate among specialists in the subject, with the majority of them remaining doubtful.
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In a tweet, Toby Walsh, an artificial intelligence professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, replied, stating that “every time such speculative comments get an airing, it takes months of effort to get the conversation back to the more realistic opportunities and threats posed by AI.”
Thomas Dietterich, a retired professor of computer science at Oregon State University, even accused Sutskever of “trolling,” saying, “if consciousness is the ability to reflect upon and model themselves, I haven’t seen any such capability in today’s nets.”
Valentino Zocca, a deep learning scientist, concurred with Dietterich, calling the concept that AI is sentient nothing but “hype.” Meanwhile, software testing specialist Michael Bolton mocked Ilya Sutskever on Twitter, writing, “it may be that Ilya Sutskever is slightly full of it.”
Sutskever, who co-founded OpenAI alongside Elon Musk & current CEO Sam Altman in 2016, has always been a fan of “artificial general intelligence,” or AI capable of working at superhuman levels.
The Daily Mail reported that Sutskever previously suggested that powerful AI could either fix “all the problems in the world,” or pave the way for a super-dictatorship.