AI scientists are developing a 'digital brain' that will surpass humans – we need to stop everything NOW, says insider | The Sun

SCIENTISTS are developing AI so advanced it could be compared to a "digital brain" that may be even better than the human mind – and we should be terrified, according to one insider.

Kevin Baragona, founder of DeepAI, warned rapidly growing superhuman intelligence systems will usher in a new kind of future – and it is one that “should terrify you”.

For a man who has staked his livelihood and a decade of his life on generative artificial intelligence, it might seem unusual to hear him calling for a crackdown on the technology he helped develop.

And yet, the tech whizz has joined the growing chorus of Silicon Valley doomsayers who are trying to expose both the immediate and existential threats the software poses to our futures.

Kevin compared the rapid development of advanced generative AI – interconnected machine learning tools that can be used to produce art, music, and even ideas – to "growing a digital brain".

And just like how we don't yet fully understand the human mind, we may get to a point where we no longer understand AI.

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"If we create computers smarter than humans, then what’s left for humans? said Kevin, in a grim vision of the future.

And he warned the battlelines are being drawn, with two warring camps inside the big tech industry – with "Team Accelerate" and "Team Regulation".

He warned the rapid development of AI – which is being popularised by tools such as the highly restricted ChatGPT – is comparable to the danger posed by nuclear weapons.

The technology is developing "too fast for its own good", said Kevin.

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And the fear is that these AI minds will soon reach smarter-than-human intelligence levels, and can we even survive this?

It sounds like it’s straight out of a sci-fi film, but Kevin is incredibly serious.

Kevin told The Sun Online: “We’re so good at it, that it’s already doing many of the same things a human brain can do.

“There is not going to be a battle between nations but a battle between AI and humanity,” he warned.

A veteran in the generative AI world, Kevin has the inside scoop on how the development of big tech's golden goose "is happening too fast for its own good.” 

This is the "nuclear weapon of software" he said, and it is being released carelessly into the wild.

Generative AI systems are exceeding all estimates in how quickly they are training themselves to harness even more data and use increasingly sophisticated algorithms.

This is the nuclear weapons of software – I mean that’s how powerful it is

Top AI expert, Eliezer Yudkowsky, called this phenomenon “plunging towards catastrophe”, where the “most likely outcome is AI that does not do what we want, and does not care for us nor for sentient life in general".

Yudkowsky and the industry doomers believe that AI systems are advancing so rapidly that they are showing series signs of surpassing human-level performance and quality.

On Tuesday, the "godfathers of AI" shared these fears and spoke out about how the technology they are racing each other to create poses an existential threat to humanity.

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from A.I. should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war,” they wrote in a new letter signed by 350 top AI specialists, including the executives of OpenAI and DeepMind.

Kevin’s own creation is more harmless – DeepAI is software he built for “naturally creative humans” that includes a text-to-image generator and advanced AI chatbots.

The San Francisco developer believes that DeepAI has a clear purpose to “inspire and improve people’s lives bit by bit".

But he warns other rapidly developing AI software should be outlawed.

“We should not deploy technology that is immoral, like deep fakes – they clone people’s voices and faces and there’s no good reason," he said.

"It should be illegal.

“What are we building here? Why do we need this stuff?”

The development of this software lacks any kind of justification, he said, except that “people are just thinking that it’s possible to do, it’s fun and I can do it – so I will.”

Right now there are two warring camps in the AI industry, he explained, “those that want to accelerate AI progress at full speed versus those who want to slow it down.

“I was on "Team Accelerate" but switched sides – the technology is being deployed too fast and there is zero regulation."

At the end of March, over a thousand leading AI experts submitted an open letter, called "Pause Giant AI Experiments", that demanded an immediate six-month ban in the training of powerful AI systems.

The letter argued: “recent months have seen AI labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy ever more powerful digital minds that no one – not even their creators – can understand, predict, or reliably control.”

Kevin, among the likes of Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak and Elon Musk, signed it to slow down the development of super-smart AI technology.

“The hope was to cause a six-month wave of disruption… to give humanity a break to act, if anything it’s a symbolic act to get people thinking,” he said.

“It was a radical approach, but it got people interested”. 

The future looks like science fiction – it should terrify you.

Kevin still has a strong belief in the general mission of AI – that machine learning can and will solve world problems, change all of our lives for the better and even lead medical breakthroughs.

“It can help to diagnose people with rare diseases and find cures, that technology is now real, I’ve seen the tech demos – it already works,” he said excitedly. 

But then again – it risks replacing billions of jobs, poses an immense security threat in the hands of criminals, scammers and hostile nations and, according to AI leaders themselves, could end up killing us all.

This month, more than a third of tech whizzes quizzed by Stanford University in California agreed “decisions made by AI could cause a catastrophe at least as bad as an all-out nuclear war in this century”.

Nearly three-quarters also agreed “AI could soon lead to revolutionary societal change”, and a similar number said AI firms have too much influence.

As generative AI progresses and begins to compete with humans, “It’s disturbing how many types of [human] knowledge are being disrupted by AI,” Kevin explained.

“We don’t understand how it works in some sense – but we also don’t fully understand how the human brain works and we use that every day.

“But AI is a very strong and powerful technology – what kind of future are we creating?”

Kevin doesn't see a meaningful way to put at end to the AI arms race. “It needs leading AI experts to come to the table and agree, including other countries, especially China.

“That’s not going to happen, we’re trapped in a highly competitive mindset.

“This is the nuclear weapons of software – I mean that’s how powerful it is.

"I love this technology – but people play with this stuff that’s so powerful because they can, and that’s what makes it too powerful.”

What’s keeping Kevin up at night is the threat to our shared future that these superhuman AI systems pose.

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“In five years [AI] will be in a stage in many people’s daily lives the way Google is now.

"In 10 years – the future looks like science fiction — it should terrify you."

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