Microsoft’s CSO Extols AI & Signs A Warning Letter About It At The Same Day


Eric Horvitz, the Chief Scientific Officer at Microsoft shared some interesting paradoxical views on Artificial Intelligence.

In a recent blog post, Horvitz expressed his views on AI and its impact on human lives. It’s quite interesting to know that he lauded the technology and signed a pact that alerts people about its dark side on the same day. 

While throwing light on AI’s future and effect, it also announced a series of essays written by AI experts. These are people who got exclusive access to Open AI’s GPT-4 even before its launch. According to the blog post, Horvitz was amazed at the capacity and competence of OpenAI’s GPT-4 when he accessed it for the first time in 2022.

Horvitz advocated its ability to interpret human intentions. He said that the AI gave sophisticated answers to a multitude of prompts. It felt like a phase transition that evokes imagery of emergent phenomena one encounters only in physics.

He adds further that while testing GPT-4, he observed the technology and its upcoming versions have the power to transform everything around us.

Microsoft and OpenAI provided early access to GPT-4 to a large number of experts. They also asked these volunteers to write essays that could identify the opportunities and challenges that the technology holds for different industries. 

On the same day when Horvitz published his blog post, his name appeared on another relevant document. He co-signed a paper that was published by the Center for AI Safety. The document contained a single-sentence statement along with a preface. Besides that, it was signed by a number of people who hold significant positions in the AI domain. The list of signatories includes Andrew Ng, co-founder of Google Brain, and Meta’s Yann LeCun.

As per the statement, it’s a global responsibility and priority to prevent AI from becoming a weapon that could be used against humans in any form. And while one might praise these people for introducing such a truce, it hasn’t gone down well with everyone. The reason is that many expressed their concerns over the undefined risks, like future capabilities of AI that we can’t see right now.

Also, some people said that intellectuals should rather focus on real issues like climate change, economic inequality, and anti-democratic forces instead of worrying about fictitious scenarios. 

Horvitz, in his blog, expressed concerns over the transformative nature of the technology and talked about developing a safer AI. However, he does not speak about the danger to the existence of the human race. 

Besides AI, Microsoft is exploring other budding technologies too. They recently got approval for participation in the Central Bank Digital Currency pilot project. The initiative has roped some big financial institutions like the Central Bank of Brazil alongside Visa, Santander, and many other applicants to be part of it. 

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