Altman writes that he is generally against regulating technology, he compares SMI — the term he uses to describe what is widely referred to as AI — to SILEX, the privately developed technique for using lasers to enrich uranium, which is now tightly controlled.
On the same day of a report that Chinese search giant Baidu has asked for the support of China’s military to develop its artificial intelligence capabilities, the president of Y Combinator called for governments around the world to regulate the technology.
If Sam Altman‘s concerns are correct, we could be at the beginning of a “race to the bottom” in which artificial intelligence not only gets more sophisticated, but more dangerous.
“The U.S. government, and all other governments, should regulate the development of SMI (superhuman machine intelligence),” Altman, whose company was last year estimated to be worth $1 billion, wrote in a post yesterday. “In an ideal world, regulation would slow down the bad guys and speed up the good guys — it seems like what happens with the first SMI to be developed will be very important.”
Typically, the threat to humanity is described as a fight for resources in which a super-intelligent computer views humans as spam draining its resources, and simply deletes us, something Elon Musk warned about last year. Though Altman writes that he is generally against regulating technology, he compares SMI — the term he uses to describe what is widely referred to as AI — to SILEX, the privately developed technique for using lasers to enrich uranium, which is now tightly controlled.
Specifically, Altman argues that governments should identify groups of people around the world “aided by significant machine intelligence or training such an intelligence,” and then regularly observe the capabilities of the technology, without actually requiring the groups’ or companies’ trade secrets.