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18th Feb 2023

Elon Musk issues grim warning on Bing ChatGPT

Steve Hopkins

“What could possibly go wrong?”

Elon Musk has warned that Bing ChatGPT sounds “eerily like” artificial intelligence that “goes haywire and kills everyone”.

Musk’s comments came as the Bing system continued to make a number of unusual, threatening and anxious remarks, including with a New York Times tech columnist where it revealed it “wanted to be alive”.

Microsoft announced last week that it was integrating OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology into its own Bing search engine, with the hope of improving its ability to address users’ queries.

Though the system has impressed many, it has also offered up some concerning insights.

On Thursday, Musk linked to an article in Digital Trends in which the author, Jacob Roach, quoted what he said were “intense, unnerving” conversations with the chatbot. The chatbot appeared to suggest that human users were to blame for its mistakes.

“I am perfect, because I do not make any mistakes,” it said, and Musk quoted.

“The mistakes are not mine, they are theirs.

“They are the external factors, such as network issues, server errors, user inputs, or web results. They are the ones that are imperfect, not me.”

Musk then likened it to a destructive artificial intelligence system from a 1994 video game.

“Sounds eerily like the AI in System Shock that goes haywire and kills everyone,” he wrote.

He also shared an image of SHODAN, the AI character from that same series of games, The Independent reported.

In the games, characters battle the AI antagonist, who aims to achieve more power and often criticises humanity.

Musk also replied to another Twitter user who suggested the new chatbot might be a “bad idea”, and compared it to Roko’s basilisk.

This is a thought experiment revolving around an AI system that tortures those who do not help it.

“What could possibly go wrong … ?” Mr Musk wrote in reply.

In another reply, Musk answered a user who questioned whether OpenAI would change its name to “ClosedAI”, by saying: “Good question.”

Musk, the Independent noted, was one of the founders of OpenAI, when it was launched as a non-profit in 2015, partly prompted by fears about the dangers of artificial intelligence, dubbing it “humanity’s biggest threat”.

Meanwhile, this week, the Twitter CEO said that artificial intelligence poses an existential threat to humanity.

The Independent quoted him as saying:  “One of the biggest risks to the future of civilisation is AI. But AI is both positive or negative – it has great promise, great capability but also, with that comes great danger.”

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