Robert J. Marks, director of the Discovery Institute’s Walter Bradley Center, recently appeared on a podcast episode with Fox News host Laura Ingraham to talk about artificial intelligence, technology and Dr. Marks’ book Non-Computable You: What You Do That AI Never Will.
Ingraham opened the conversation with some thoughts on the rapidly evolving technological world we find ourselves in and the changes such developments are bringing to society. Responding to the futurism and boundless optimism in AI systems like ChatGPT that many modern personalities espouse, Marks said that what computers do is strictly algorithmic.
This leads us to the idea of whether or not there are non-computable properties of people, and I think there’s growing evidence for that. I would give the simple examples of happiness, joy, empathy. I think less obvious are the operations of sentience, creativity and understanding. I believe these are probably non-algorithmic as well. Again, we are beginning to have scientific evidence that this is indeed the case. So you are not allowed to build your own religion and speculate. We see this often in artificial intelligence.
Ingraham brought up an ominous quote from Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in which he said that in the future, whoever has artificial intelligence will “own the world”. Schwab believes that world order revolution, brought about in large part by advances in AI, is at most a decade away. However, Marks responded by appealing to the story of exaggerated, utopian (or dystopian) visions for humanity:
I think we just have to look at history and see a lot of these other incredibly overblown claims that have come out. (I was old enough to remember the year 2000 scare, which was supposed to dissolve the world into all sorts of problems. Deepfakes will disrupt political discourse. Self-driving cars will cause all truck drivers to lose their jobs. No , that didn’t happen. Maybe one day it will, but we’re on a much slower path there. Here’s my prophecy: In ten to twenty years, we’ll see the limits of artificial intelligence (which we’ll start with, these chat models in particular like ChatGPT and LaMDA) and we will find out their limitations. And we will integrate this into our society. Will it make a difference? Yes. But will it be sentient and take over the world? No, artificial intelligence will not do that.
Marks emphasized that AI is a tool and that it can be used for either good or evil.
Ingraham and Marks went on to talk about the guard rails computer engineers have set up for ChatGPT, the state of higher education, and the legacy of Walter Bradley, the namesake of the Walter Bradley Center.
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