Last week, Google fired an employee who thought a chatbot had gained self-awareness. Nonsense? We spoke with expert Jim Stolze about the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of this technology.
The software engineers were thrown out of Google to publicly state that chatbot LaMDA has developed a self-awareness, according to him. Nonsense says the company: LaMDa is simply so good at mimicking human interaction that it can confuse even one of its own creators.
Jim Stolze also thinks it’s a strong story. He specializes in this kind of artificial intelligence and the role it can play for us. His company Aigency teaches large companies to use AI.
Were you surprised by the news about LaMDA?
“In fact, I was more like: oh honey, now we’re running again … Every now and then something like nonsense pops up about computers and self-awareness. In this case, it was just a computer model trying to guess based on existing texts what the next sentence or answer may be.It has nothing to do with consciousness but everything to do with statistics.
We are humans, and the reason we do not sit in a tree or hide in a cave now is that we are toolmakers. And that’s exactly what artificial intelligence is: a tool that can help us understand and make better decisions. Let us not attribute to it qualities that we do not already understand ourselves. “
So is artificial intelligence actually a tool, like a hammer?
“You could say that. My grandfather worked with his hands and he worked so hard that his back started to hurt. No one really cared when a digger finally came who could take over his work. Such is artificial intelligence, but “Instead of strengthening our muscles with machines, we strengthen our brains with computers. That’s how I think we’ll look at AI in the future.”
But people are not afraid that a hammer is smarter than themselves, while that fear exists with artificial intelligence.
“People make tools that help them with things they themselves are less good at. When we talk about ‘artificial intelligence’, it sounds like it’s a competition between us and the computer. But that’s the wrong attitude. Of ‘artificial’ intelligence ‘we should be talking about’ complementary ‘intelligence. “
What do you mean?
“There are people who spend hours studying spreadsheets or improving text documents. I do not think humanity is meant for that kind of work. Let a robot do it! That way we have more time for, for example, a good conversation, curiosity and creativity. We can use AI the same way an accountant uses a calculator. I think the real goal of AI is to take the robot out of man. “
What do you think our collaboration with AI will look like in the future?
“It depends on how far ahead you want to see. You mean the singularity?”
What is it?
“In short: the moment when computers become smarter than humans. But I do not think we will ever reach that moment, because before that moment we are already fused with our technology. That is, our technology becomes so small and invisible, that an artificial intelligence that connects with our brains would not be much different than wearing glasses or orthotics is now. “
Is not that a sinister vision of the future?
“I realize it sounds scary to many people, but I think it’s inevitable. There’s also something tragic about it: We give evolution a hand while we do not necessarily know what’s good for us. .
Until then, we must learn to work with artificial intelligence. Chess champion Garri Kasparov, who lost to chess computer Deep Blue in 1996, sums it up nicely. He says: the best chess player does not beat the chess computer, but the same chess computer does not have a chance against a chess master who works with another chess computer. “
Are we not in danger of artificial intelligence ever setting humanity aside?
“No. This technology is about collaboration. People who believe that AI can develop its own mind, I refer to the science fiction department. There is no evidence that one automatically goes from pure computing power to self-determination, and no serious scientist believes in that “Self-awareness is not a trait that comes naturally from data. At the end of the day, computers are just cold iron, and iron has no heartbeat. “