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AI could become ‘extremely addictive’ and ‘enslave’ people: OpenAI exec warns of risks of poor programming

A technology officer from artificial intelligence company OpenAI warned that if AI is improperly programmed, the platforms could become far more addicting than modern social media and, in a sense, enslave humanity.

Mira Murati, the 34-year-old chief technology officer at OpenAI, said that artificial intelligence is at risk of being designed the wrong way. During the Atlantic Festival in Washington, D.C., Murati gave comments that served as a warning of the “significant risk” of programming AI down the wrong path.

“With the capability and this enhanced capability comes the other side, the possibility that we design them in the wrong way and they become extremely addictive and we sort of become enslaved to them,” she said, according to the Epoch Times.

Murati stated that more work needs to be done to identify the risks of such addictive technology and suggested that researchers need to figure out how people respond to potential addictions.

“We really don’t know out of the box. We have to discover, we have to learn, and we have to explore,” she claimed. “There is a significant risk in making them, developing them wrong, in a way that really doesn’t enhance our lives and in fact it introduces more risk.”

“I think about it in terms of trade-offs: How much value is this technology providing in the real world and how much we mitigate the risks,” she added.

During a recent sit-down interview, Murati said the ultimate goal was to align AI to human values.

“You don’t want to get it wrong; it could be very dangerous. This is where reinforcement learning with human feedback was was developed,” she noted. “What we were trying to really achieve was to align the the AI system to human values and get it to receive human feedback, and based on that human feedback, it would be more likely to do the right thing [and] less likely to do the thing that you don’t want it to do,” the CTO explained.

Microsoft announced a multibillion-dollar investment into OpenAI in January 2023 to “accelerate AI breakthroughs to ensure these benefits are broadly shared with the world,” the company said in a blog post.

The main pillars of advancing AI technology listed by Microsoft included adding functions across applications and using OpenAI’s existing technology to build future apps.

The company said it wanted to continue “supercomputing at scale,” which it said would “increase investments in the development and deployment of specialized supercomputing systems to accelerate OpenAI’s groundbreaking independent AI research.”

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