'Banality of evil': Noam Chomsky, Steven Spielberg express anti-ChatGPT sentiment

"The soul is unimaginable and is ineffable. And it cannot be created by any algorithm," says Hollywood powerhouse Steven Spielberg.
Baba Tamim
Steven Spielberg and Noam Chomsky
Steven Spielberg and Noam Chomsky

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Renowned linguist Noam Chomsky and Hollywood director Steven Spielberg have expressed skepticism about artificial intelligence (AI) amidst the rise of OpenAI's ChatGPT. 

AI could have a significant impact on people's capacity for independent thought and creation, according to Chomsky and Spielberg. 

"I love anything that is created not by a computer, but by a human person," Spielberg told late-night show host Stephen Colbert in an interview on Wednesday. 

Giving the computer autonomy "over your point of view and your self as a human person" get's Speilberg nervous.  

Chomsky, echoing Speilberg's views, co-wrote an op-ed on the same day with linguistics professor Ian Roberts and Jeffrey Watumull, director of artificial intelligence at a science and technology company.

"OpenAI's ChatGPT, Google's Bard, and Microsoft's Sydney are marvels of machine learning," the trio wrote for New York Times (NYT).

However, chatbots like "ChatGPT exhibits something like the banality of evil: plagiarism and apathy and obviation."

"Given the amorality, faux science, and linguistic incompetence of these systems, we can only laugh or cry at their popularity," further said the op-ed.

The algorithm has no soul

The creation of conversational chatbot technology gained a lot of popularity in recent times. But, with the November 2022 release of OpenAI's Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer (GPT), this experienced a revolution.

The AI-generating revenues are skyrocketing. However, many academics and journalists have expressed serious concerns in the past. 

Chomsky argues that concerns over rogue AI may entail that it will never be able to make moral judgments or participate in moral debates. Technology might not become a significant part of our lives, but rather a toy and occasional tool.

Meanwhile, while expressing his views on art and AI during Colbert's show, Speilberg said: "The soul is unimaginable and is ineffable, the soul. And it cannot be created by any algorithm, it is just something that exists in all of us."  

Earlier, Blake Lemoine, a Google engineer, was fired for violating the company's confidentiality policy for expressing concerns about the risks associated with AI-driven chatbots.

The latest AI models, according to him, are the most potent technological advancement since the atomic bomb and can alter the course of history fundamentally.

However, tech personalities like Microsft's Bill Gates support the AI evolution. 

AI-powered chatbots like Bing can say some "crazy things," according to Gates; this is primarily because users have turned provocation into a game by trying to find ways to trick the model's programming into making a mistake.

Gates stated that existing AI models are "fine, [and] there's no threat," adding that "it's not apparent who should be blamed "if you sit there and provoke a bit."

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