OpenAI Chief Scientist Says Advanced AI May Already Be Gaining Consciousness

OpenAI’s top researcher has made a startling claim this week: that artificial intelligence may already be gaining consciousness.

Ilya Sutskever, chief scientist of the OpenAI research group, tweeted today that “it may be that today’s large neural networks are slightly conscious.”

Needless to say, that’s an unusual point of view. The widely accepted idea among AI researchers is that the tech has made great strides over the past decade, but still falls far short of human intelligence, nevermind being anywhere close to experiencing the world consciously.

It’s possible that Sutskever was speaking facetiously, but it’s also conceivable that as the top researcher at one of the foremost AI groups in the world, he’s already looking downrange.

He’s long been preoccupied with artificial general intelligence, or AGI, which would refer to AI that operates at a human or superhuman level. During his appearance in the AI documentary “iHuman,” for instance, he even declared that that AGIs will “solve all the problems that we have today” before warning that they will also present “the potential to create infinitely stable dictatorships.”

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