Posts: 9,589 +120
Big quote: Another public figure has spoken about their fears of where the world is heading as artificial intelligence continues advancing. This time it was Blade Runner and Gladiator director Ridley Scott who expressed his concerns, calling AI a "technical hydrogen bomb."
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Scott, who has directed several movies featuring AI, was asked if the technology worried him. He says he's always believed the world would end up being run by two corporations, and that we are heading in that direction. Many would agree, though right now it's more like five: FAAMG – Meta (formerly Facebook), Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet's Google.
"We have to lock down AI. And I don't know how you're gonna lock it down. They have these discussions in the government, 'How are we gonna lock down AI?' Are you f**king kidding? You're never gonna lock it down. Once it's out, it's out. If I'm designing AI, I'm going to design a computer whose first job is to design another computer that's cleverer than the first one," Scott said.
"And when they get together, then you're in trouble, because then it can take over the whole electrical-monetary system in the world and switch it off. That's your first disaster. It's a technical hydrogen bomb. Think about what that would mean?"
Ash. Don't trust this Synthetic
In a separate interview with Deadline, Scott reiterates that AI is something to be feared, using the hydrogen bomb analogy once again. He said the moment an AI is created that's smarter than its creator – something that won't be apparent until the AI does its own thing – then "you're out of control."
"If I had an AI box I could say, I want you to figure out how to turn off all the electricity in London. Bam. Everything was dead. That's a f**king time … no, it's a hydrogen bomb. The world would close down if I switch it off, and we are all completely f**ked. We're back to candles and matches. Do you have candles and matches at home? I live in France, so I do," Scott said.
From the Replicants in Blade Runner to the Synthetics in the Alien franchise, Scott has featured often dangerous artificial intelligence in several of his movies. But he's not the only famous director to issue a warning about the technology. In January last year, Terminator director James Cameron said a real-life version of the AI Skynet would be able to destroy humanity by using deepfakes to pit people against each other and continue escalating the situation to the point of conflict.
AI experts have previously compared the risks of AI to those posed by nuclear war and pandemics. Over two-thirds of Americans are worried about it threatening civilization, and Warren Buffett compared AI's creation to the atomic bomb. But some say the fears are overblown and the stuff of sci-fi. Famed theoretical physicist Michio Kaku called AI systems "glorified tape recorders," while Prof Yann LeCun, one of the godfathers of AI, said the alleged threat to humanity is "preposterously ridiculous."