‘Father of the Internet’ warns investors against AI chatbots

‘Father of the Internet’ warns investors against AI chatbots

'Father of the Internet' warns investors against AI chatbots

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Vint Cerf, known as the father of the internet, raised some eyebrows on Monday when he urged investors to be careful when investing in businesses built around conversational chatbots.


Bots still make too many mistakes, said Cerf, who is vice president of Google, which has an AI chatbot called Bard in development.

When he asked ChatGPT, a bot developed by OpenAI, to write a biography of him, he got a lot of things wrong, he told an audience at the TechSurge Deep Tech Summit, held by venture capital firm Celesta and held at the Computer History Museum. in Mountain View, California.

“It’s like a salad shooter. He mixes [facts] together because he doesn’t know any better,” Cerf said, according to Silicon Angle.

He advised investors not to back a technology because it looks cool or generates “buzz”.

Cerf also recommended that they take into account ethical considerations when investing in AI.

He said, “Engineers like me should be responsible for trying to find a way to tame some of these technologies, so they’re less likely to cause problems,” Silicon Angle reported.

Human supervision needed

As Cerf points out, there are some pitfalls for companies chomping at the bit to enter the AI ​​race.

Inaccurate and incorrect information, biases and offensive results are all potential risks companies face when using AI, noted Greg Sterling, co-founder of Near Media, a news, commentary and analysis.

“The risks depend on the use cases,” Sterling told TechNewsWorld. “Digital agencies that over-rely on ChatGPT or other AI tools to create content or complete work for clients could produce suboptimal or client-damaging results in some way. another one.”

However, he said checks and balances and strong human oversight could mitigate those risks.

Small businesses that don’t have expertise in technology should be careful about jumping into AI, warned Mark N. Vena, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, Calif.

“At the very least, any company integrating AI into the way they do business needs to understand the implications,” Vena told TechNewsWorld.

“Privacy – especially at the client level – is obviously a huge area of ​​concern,” he continued. “Terms and conditions of use should be extremely explicit, as well as liability if IA’s ability produces content or takes actions that open the company to potential liability.”

Ethics must be explored

Although Cerf wants AI users and developers to consider ethics when bringing AI products to market, it could be a difficult task.

“Most companies using AI are focused on efficiency and time or cost savings,” Sterling observed. “For most of them, ethics will be a secondary concern or even a non-consideration.”

There are ethical issues that need to be resolved before AI is widely adopted, Vena added. He cited the education sector as an example.

“Is it ethical for a student to submit an article entirely extracted from an AI tool? ” He asked. “Even if the content isn’t plagiarism in the strictest sense, as it could be ‘original’, I think most schools – especially at the high school and college levels – would push that away.”

“I’m not sure the news media would be thrilled with the use of ChatGPT by journalists reporting real-time events that often rely on abstract judgments that an AI tool might struggle with,” did he declare.

“Ethics has to play a big role,” he continued, “which is why there has to be an AI code of conduct that companies and even the media should be compelled to accept, as well than incorporating these terms of compliance with the terms and conditions when using AI tools.

Unintended consequences

It’s important for anyone involved in AI to make sure they do what they do responsibly, said Ben Kobren, head of communications and public policy at Neeva, an AI-based search engine. ‘IA based in Washington, DC.

“Much of the unintended consequences of previous technologies resulted from a business model that did not align business incentives with the end user,” Kobren told TechNewsWorld. “Companies have to choose between serving an advertiser or the end user. The vast majority of the time the advertiser would win. “

“The free internet has enabled incredible innovation, but it comes at a cost,” he continued. “That cost was an individual’s privacy, an individual’s time, an individual’s attention.”

“The same thing is going to happen with AI,” he said. “Will AI be applied in a business model that aligns with users or with advertisers?”

Cerf’s pleas for caution appear to be aimed at slowing the entry of AI products into the market, but that seems unlikely.

“ChatGPT has moved the industry forward much faster than anyone anticipated,” Kobren observed.

“The race is on and there is no turning back,” Sterling added.

“There are risks and benefits to bringing these products to market quickly,” he said. “But market pressure and financial incentives to act now will outweigh ethical restraint. The biggest companies are talking about “responsible AI”, but they are going ahead anyway. »

Transformational Technology

In his remarks at the TechSurge summit, Cerf also reminded investors that not everyone who uses AI technologies will use them for their intended purpose. They “will seek to do what is their advantage and not yours,” he reportedly said.

“Governments, NGOs and industry need to work together to formulate rules and standards, which should be built into these products to prevent abuse,” Sterling observed.

“The challenge and the problem is that the market and competitive dynamics move faster and are much more powerful than political and governmental processes,” he continued. “But the regulations are coming. It’s just a matter of when and what it looks like.

Policymakers have been grappling with the liability of AI for some time now, commented Hodan Omaar, senior AI policy analyst for the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank studying the intersection of data, technology and public policy, in Washington, DC

“Developers should be responsible when building AI systems,” Omaar told TechNewsWorld. “They should ensure that these systems are trained on representative data sets.”

However, she added that it will be the operators of AI systems who will make the most important decisions about the impact of AI systems on society.

“Clearly AI is here to stay,” Kobren added. “It will transform many facets of our lives, especially how we access, consume and interact with information on the internet.”

“It’s the most transformative and exciting technology we’ve seen since the iPhone,” he concluded.


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