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Experts urging a halt to Artificial Intelligence training

GS Paper 3

 Syllabus: Science and Technology


Source: BBC

 Context: Key figures in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), including Twitter’s Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, have signed an open letter calling for a suspension of the training of powerful AI systems


What are the dangers of developing super-intelligent AI?

Dangers from AIExamples
Risks to Human safety AI-powered Autonomous weapons systems that can make decisions without human intervention may lead to accidents, harm or death to civilians and military personnel.
Job displacement and unemploymentAI automation in industries such as marketing, manufacturing, law, accounting and healthcare may lead to job losses. Vulnerable sections and minorities are especially vulnerable to it.
Social manipulationE.g., Social media platforms like TikTok rely on AI to saturate a user’s feed with content related to previous media they’ve viewed, making it easier to create an echo-chamber of manipulation.
Social surveillanceGovernments and police may use facial recognition technology to track a person’s movements and gather data on their activities, relationships, and political views.
BiasesAI may be developed by humans who are inherently biased, leading to data and algorithmic bias that can amplify each other
Existential risksE.g., scenarios where AI surpasses human intelligence, gains autonomy, and seeks to protect itself, potentially leading to conflicts with humans.


However, AI is also needed for solving the biggest challenges we face

ProblemHow AI can helpExample/Fact
Climate ChangeAI can help reduce energy consumption, improve renewable energy, and monitor and predict climate patterns.Google’s DeepMind AI has reduced energy consumption at their data centres by 15%.
Disease Detection and TreatmentAI can help identify diseases and develop treatments faster, improving patient outcomes.AI algorithms have been developed to detect breast cancer with greater accuracy than human radiologists.
Hunger and Food SecurityAI can help optimize farming practices, improve crop yields, and reduce food waste.The use of AI in precision agriculture has been shown to increase crop yields by up to 30%.
PovertyAI can help improve access to education and job opportunities for underserved communities.AI-powered chatbots are being used to provide education and job training to refugees in Lebanon.
Natural DisastersAI can help predict and respond to natural disasters, reducing their impact on human life and infrastructure.IBM’s Watson is being used to analyze data to predict the path of hurricanes, helping communities to prepare and evacuate in advance.


What should be done?

  • Risk analysis: The open letter argues that AI labs should halt the training of AI systems that are more powerful than GPT-4 for at least six months to ensure that these risks are appropriately addressed.
  • Development of new regulatory authorities dedicated to AI: It will ensure that the technology is developed in a way that benefits society and avoids catastrophic outcomes



AI has the potential to help solve many of the world’s problems, but it’s not a silver bullet solution and must be implemented responsibly and ethically.


Insta Links

Artificial Intelligence and Robotics


Prelims Link:

  1. With the present state of development, Artificial Intelligence can effectively do which of the following?
  2. Bring down electricity consumption in industrial units.
  3. Create meaningful short stories and songs.
  4. Disease diagnosis.
  5. Text-to-Speech Conversion.
  6. Wireless transmission of electrical energy.


Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2, 3 and 5 only

(b) 1, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2, 4 and 5 only

(d) 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5


Answer: d