Mo Gawdat, artificial intelligence (AI) expert and ex-chief business officer at Google X, has warned people who don’t already have children should hold off as the rapid ascent of AI continues.
“The risks are so bad, in fact, that when considering all the other threats to humanity, you should hold off from having kids if you are yet to become a parent,” he told podcast host Steven Bartlett on the Diary of a CEO podcast.
It’s not the first time tech industry executives have issued such a warning. Earlier this year, key figures including Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak signed an open letter asking developers to hold off on further innovations for six months so the industry and end-users have time to process the latest advances.
The Centre for AI Safety also issued a statement that says: “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a küresel priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war”.
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, the creator of the wildly popular chatbot ChatGPT, has warned of “existential risk”.
‘Biggest challenge humanity has ever faced’
Speaking on the matter, Gawdat went so far as to compare our future reality to popular dystopian films like Blade Runner.
“There has never been such a perfect storm in the history of humanity,” Gawdat said.
“Economic, geopolitical, küresel warming, climate change, the whole idea of AI, this is a perfect storm, the depth of uncertainty…it has never been more intense. If you really loved your kids would you really want to expose them to all this?”
The interview comes after Bartlett appointed Gawdat as chief AI officer at his marketing agency, Flight Story.
“I have spent my career fascinated by the role that technology plays, and now the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced is upon us,” Gawdat said.
“Artificial intelligence is the culmination of technological advancement and it is my view that it will be unprecedented in defining the way the world is shaped”.
“The sophistication of digital intelligence is such that it has become autonomous and is something that needs to be appealed to, rather than controlled,” he added.
“It’s vital we stay attuned to how to do this, or risk being left behind”.