Scientists Just Gave An Ominous Warning About Artificial Intelligence

Research lab OpenAI's top scientist has made a controversial claim, one that could upend the artificial intelligence (AI) market and already has other scientists up in arms, according to Futurism. Ilya Sutskever has claimed the largest neural networks may already be developing consciousness.

OpenAI was founded in December 2015. Elon Musk, along with Sutskever, was one of the original founders and participated in the company's early days out of his concern for the potential threat AI poses to humanity. According to Analytics Insight, Musk has warned that "we need to be super careful with AI as they are potentially more dangerous than nukes."

One of the founding goals of OpenAI was to develop artificial intelligence in a responsible manner, with the appropriate controls in place to ensure the technology doesn't get out of hand and become a threat. Since its founding, the organization has become one of the leaders in the industry, making Sutskever's statement all the more worrisome.

Sutskever's Analysis Of Current Neural Networks

On February 9, 2022, Sutskever tweeted his belief that current neural networks may already be "slightly conscious."

As Futurism points out, Sutskever's take is not a popular one. Most experts believe machine consciousness is still some time off despite recent advances in AI development. As a result, it's unclear whether Sutskever's statement is meant to be taken literally or facetiously, or whether it was merely a prediction about what the future may hold.

Of course, the other possibility is that Sukskever's role as the top scientist at one of the leading AI firms gives him an insight that few others have. If he really was being literal in his estimation, it is truly an ominous one. The fact that many experts believe AI consciousness is a ways off is also an indication the industry still lacks the necessary safeguards to prevent Musk's fears from coming true.

Sutskever has published multiple tweets seemingly in response to the criticism, saying "ego is (mostly) the enemy," that "risk minimization maximizes risk," and, in a new tweet today, that "the intellect is a great refuge from emotions."