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Embracing the Unknown: The Importance of AI Exploration Despite the Risks

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In recent times, discussions surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on society have gained significant momentum. Notably, entrepreneur Elon Musk has expressed caution, stating in an interview that AI has the potential for "civilization destruction”. This has led some to argue that further development of AI should be halted until we fully understand its mechanisms.

One such incident that fuelled this apprehension occurred at Google when its AI system demonstrated fluency in an untaught language, illustrating the enigmatic nature of AI's learning process, often referred to as a "black box". While such events might encourage some to cease AI development, it is crucial to recognize the importance of continued exploration despite the unknowns.

Arguing for the cessation of AI research based on the lack of understanding is akin to halting space exploration due to our limited comprehension of the universe. The human mind itself remains an enigma, yet humanity has not ceased to progress or explore the unknown.

An apt comparison can be drawn to the use of ketamine as a rapid antidepressant. Although its precise mechanism of action remains uncertain, it has been successfully utilized in medical practice [3]. It is important to acknowledge the risks and uncertainties associated with any innovation, but ceasing exploration due to fear of the unknown would hinder societal progress.

As Niccolo Machiavelli once said, "Never was anything great achieved without danger." By embracing the unknown and continuing to explore AI's potential, we can better understand its capabilities and limitations, fostering a more informed and responsible approach to its development and implementation.

References: 

Clare Duffy and Ramishah Maruf, (2023) Elon Musk warns AI could cause ‘civilization destruction’ even as he invests in it. CNN Business [Article]

Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2023/04/17/tech/elon-musk-ai-warning-tucker-carlson/index.html#:~:text=%E2%80%9CAI%20is%20more%20dangerous%20than,in%20his%20interview%20with%20Tucker

(Accessed 07 May 2023)

Sundar Pichai, Scot Pelley, James Manyika (2023), Is artificial intelligence advancing too quickly? What AI leaders at Google say - 60 MINUTES NEWSMAKERS [Interview]

Available at: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/google-artificial-intelligence-future-60-minutes-transcript-2023-04-16/

(Accessed 07 May 2023)

Zanos, P., & Gould, T. D. (2018). Mechanisms of ketamine action as an antidepressant. Molecular Psychiatry, 23(4), 801-811. https://doi.org/10.1038/mp.2017.255

(Accessed 07 May 2023)


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