The co-founder of a San Francisco-based AI research laboratory claimed in a Twitter post this week that “today’s largest neural networks” could already be “Mindful.”
Ilya Sutskever from OpenAI did not clarify what system or systems he was referring to, or how exactly he defines “Be mindful.”
It is possible he was referring to OpenAI’s GPT-3 – an advanced language processing system developed for translation, question answering, and filling in missing words.
Sutskever’s cryptic tweet quickly engendered a debate among experts in the field, with most remaining skeptical of the idea.
Toby Walsh (a professor of artificial intelligent at UNSW in Sydney) responded to the question in a tweet saying that “Each time these speculations are made, it can take months to change the conversation to more real threats and opportunities presented by AI.”
It could be possible that the large, complex neural networks of today are somewhat conscious
— Ilya Sutskever (@ilyasut) February 9, 2022
Sutskever was even accused of “Trolling” by Thomas Dietterich, an emeritus professor of computer science at Oregon State University, who said, “if consciousness is the ability to reflect upon and model themselves, I haven’t seen any such capability in today’s nets.”
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An expert in deep learning technology, Valentino Zocca, agreed with Dietterich, saying the claim about AI being conscious is all “hype.” Meanwhile, software testing expert Michael Bolton mockingly tweeted: “It could be that Ilya Sutskever has a little too much.”
“Ilya Sutskever, chief scientist of the OpenAI research group, tweeted today that ‘it may be that today’s large neural networks are slightly conscious’.”It may be that Ilya Sutskever is slightly full of it. It could be more. https://t.co/rLmUy9jbqY
— Michael Bolton (@michaelbolton) February 11, 2022
Sutskever co-founded OpenAI along Elon Musk in 2016. He is also the current CEO of Sam Altman.
According to the Daily Mail, the researcher once claimed that this kind of advanced AI could either solve “The world has many problems.” or pave the way for a super-dictatorship.
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