#332 — Can We Contain Artificial Intelligence?
Making Sense with Sam Harris
Mon, August 28, 2023
Podchat Summary

Exploring the Practical Risks of AI with Mustafa Suleyman

In this episode, we sit down with Mustafa Suleyman, the co-founder and CEO of Inflection AI and a venture partner at Greylock, to delve into the practical risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI). With an impressive background as the co-founder of DeepMind and a former vice president at Google, Suleyman brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table.

DeepMind, under Suleyman's leadership, achieved groundbreaking milestones in AI, including the development of Atari DQN, AlphaGo, AlphaZero, and AlphaFold. However, rather than focusing solely on the concept of superintelligence, Suleyman emphasizes the importance of addressing the practical risks of AI.

One key concern highlighted in the discussion is the spread of misinformation and the reduction of barriers to exercising power through AI. Suleyman argues that it is crucial to ensure technologies remain accountable to humans and within our control, a concept known as the containment problem.

Another pressing issue explored is the potential impact of AI on labor disruption. While some argue that new jobs will replace those lost to AI, Suleyman finds this notion unconvincing. The proliferation of AI raises questions about the availability and accountability of AI models, especially considering the exponential growth of compute power and model size.

Suleyman's book, "The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the 21st Century's Greatest Dilemma," serves as a guide for understanding and addressing the downsides of AI. He advocates for a proactive approach to mitigating and adapting to the potential risks, emphasizing that it is not too late to take action.

If you're interested in gaining insights into the practical risks associated with AI and understanding the importance of containment and proactive measures, this episode is a must-listen. Join us as we delve into the fascinating world of AI with Mustafa Suleyman.

Original Show Notes

Sam Harris speaks with Mustafa Suleyman about his new book, “The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the 21st Century’s Greatest Dilemma.” They discuss the progress in artificial intelligence made at his company DeepMind, the acquisition of DeepMind by Google, Atari DQN, AlphaGo, AlphaZero, AlphaFold, the invention of new knowledge, the risks of our making progress in AI, “superintelligence” as a distraction from more pressing problems, the inevitable spread of general-purpose technology, the nature of intelligence, productivity growth and labor disruptions, “the containment problem,” the importance of scale, Moore’s law, Inflection AI, open-source LLMs, changing the norms of work and leisure, the redistribution of value, introducing friction into the deployment of AI, regulatory capture, a misinformation apocalypse, digital watermarks, asymmetric threats, conflict and cooperation with China, supply-chain monopolies, and other topics.

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