Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a major talking point after the rise to prominence of AI chatbot ChatGPT from OpenAI and generative AI image makers like Midjourney and DALL-E 2. However, not everyone sees eye to eye with this emerging technology.
A new report from the New York Times revealed that in March two Google employees tried to stop the company from launching its own AI chatbot rivaling that of OpenAI.
According to the NYT report, the jobs of the employees are specifically to review Google’s AI products. Allegedly the employees believed the technology generated “inaccurate and dangerous statements.”
Microsoft employees and ethicists raised similar concerns months prior, as it too planned the release of an AI chatbot to be integrated into its Bing browser. Concerns voiced at Microsoft were over the degradation of critical thinking, disinformation and eroding the “factual foundation of modern society.”
Nonetheless Microsoft released its Bing-integrated chatbot in February and one month later Google released its “Bard” chatbot towards the end of March, both of which succeeded OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT-4 in November 2022.
We’re expanding access to Bard in US + UK with more countries ahead, it’s an early experiment that lets you collaborate with generative AI. Hope Bard sparks more creativity and curiosity, and will get better with feedback. Sign up: https://t.co/C1ibWrqTDr https://t.co/N8Dzx1m0fc
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) March 21, 2023
Since its release last fall, ChatGPT has stirred up major conversations around the ethics and usage of these AI chatbots and image generators.
Midjourney, an application that uses artificial intelligence to generate realistic images, discontinued its free trial in an effort to curb problematic deep fakes. Around the same time, an Australian media executive called for monetary compensation from ChatGPT and AI for the news it consumes.
Meanwhile concerns for the future of society and truth in a letter penned by over 1,000 researchers and thought leaders in the tech space, including Elon Musk, to slow the pace of development of the technology.
Global governments have been tackling the emerging technology in a similar tone, with Italian officials temporarily blocking ChatGPT in the country and United States President Joe Biden urging tech firms to address risks posed by AI.