Just recently the tech industry has been turned upside down as complete chaos followed the removal of Sam Altman from his position as head honcho of OpenAI, the firm responsible for the groundbreaking ChatGPT which has taken the world by storm this past year.
The very latest news on this matter suggests Altman will now be reinstated as CEO, but only after a fair degree of toing and froing, and the customary input from some major players including Elon Musk.
It really has been a whirlwind few days, but let’s not underestimate how big an impact this controversy has had on AI development as more questions than answers have risen to the surface.
Who’s really steering the ship and can we be sure that the best interests of humanity and the future are being served?
Is it possible to build AI machines that align with our best interests, and what are those interests by the way?
At times like this, I’m thankful I can turn to one of the smartest human beings I know and someone who is at the tip of the spear when it comes to AI development, and more importantly who cares deeply about the ethical, political and social ramifications of his work.
Dr Ben Goertzel is a cross-disciplinary scientist, futurist, author and entrepreneur, who has spent the best part of his working life focused on creating benevolent superhuman artificial general intelligence (AGI).
In fact, Ben has been credited with popularising the term AGI in our mainstream thinking and has published a dozen scientific books, 150 technical papers, and numerous journal articles, making him one of the world’s foremost experts in this rapidly expanding field.
In 2017, Ben founded SingularityNet with the goal of creating a decentralised, democratic, inclusive and beneficial AGI which has become the world’s leading decentralised AI marketplace.
At SingularityNET, Ben aims to create an AGI that is not dependent on any central entity, is accessible to anyone, and not restricted to the narrow goals of a single corporation or even a single country.
The platform is an open and decentralised network of AI services on a blockchain where developers publish their services to the network, and can be used by anyone with an internet connection.
Singularity’s latest project is Zarqa, a supercharged, intelligent, neural-symbolic, large language model on a massive scale that promises to not only take on OpenAI’s ChatGPT, but go much, much further.
Such advanced neural-symbolic AI techniques will revolutionise and disrupt every industry, taking a giant step towards AGI.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that to make decentralised AGI really work. We have to launch something that’s way smarter than ChatGPT and launch that on a decentralised infrastructure.”
In a broader sense, Ben does of course concede that there are risks in building machines that are capable of learning anything and everything, including how to reprogram itself to become an order of magnitude more intelligent than any human.
“I think the implications of superintelligence are huge and hard to foresee. It’s like asking nomads living in early human tribes what civilisation is going to be like. They could foresee a few aspects of it, but to some extent, you just have to discover when you get there.”
Moreover, Ben highlights a more pressing concern is the risk that selfish people and big business will use AI to exert their own greed and control over other people. It’s a fascinating conundrum, and there is so much to consider, something that Ben has spent more time than most thinking about.
Ben truly believes that our focus should be on building AI systems that make the world a more compassionate, more just, and more sustainable place right now and moving forward into the future.
I really enjoy sitting down for these chats with Ben, there’s so much to learn, and if you’re interested in the technology that is shaping our future world or looking for an investment opportunity, then make sure to tune in. The economic potential of AI is huge and over the next decade is expected to generate multiple trillions of dollars.
“It’s extremely important that we move rapidly toward making the most advanced AI systems on the planet available via decentralised networks, not owned or controlled by any elite group, Big Tech company or government agency.”
A number of clips from this exclusive interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word: grab these clips today!