DeepMind AGI Paper Adds Urgency to Ethical AI

If DeepMind is right, then it is all the more important to instill ethical and responsible AI practices and norms throughout industry and government.

DeepMind, which recently submitted a compelling paper to the peer-reviewed Artificial Intelligence journal titled “Reward is Enough.” They posit that reinforcement learning — a form of deep learning based on behavior rewards — will one day lead to replicating human cognitive capabilities and achieve AGI. This breakthrough would allow for instantaneous calculation and perfect memory, leading to an artificial intelligence that would outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task.

Despite assurances from stalwarts that AGI will benefit all of humanity, there are already real problems with today’s single-purpose narrow AI algorithms that calls this assumption into question. According to a Harvard Business Review story, when AI examples from predictive policing to automated credit scoring algorithms go unchecked, they represent a serious threat to our society. A recently published survey by Pew Research of technology innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers, and activists reveals skepticism that ethical AI principles will be widely implemented by 2030. This is due to a widespread belief that businesses will prioritize profits and governments continue to surveil and control their populations. If it is so difficult to enable transparency, eliminate bias, and ensure the ethical use of today’s narrow AI, then the potential for unintended consequences from AGI appear astronomical.

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