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June 29, 2023 93 mins

With the debut of ChatGPT, the AI once promised in some distant future seems to have suddenly arrived with the potential to reshape our working lives, culture, politics and society. For proponents of AI, we are entering a period of unprecedented technological change that will boost productivity, unleash human creativity and empower billions in ways we have only begun to fathom. Others think we should be very concerned about the rapid and unregulated development of machine intelligence. For their detractors, AI applications like ChatGPT herald a brave new world of deep fakes and mass propaganda that could dwarf anything our democracies have experienced to date. Immense economic and political power may also concentrate around the corporations who control these technologies and their treasure troves of data. Finally, there is an existential concern that we could, in some not-so-distant future, lose control of powerful AIs who, in turn, pursue goals that are antithetical to humanity’s interests and our survival as a species.

Arguing for the motion is Yoshua Bengio, one of the leading worldwide experts on AI whose pioneering work in deep learning earned him the 2018 Turing Award, often referred to as “the Nobel Prize of Computing. Yoshua’s debate partner is Max Tegmark, an internationally renowned cosmologist, global leader in machine learning research, and a professor at the M.I.T. 

Arguing against the motion is Yann Lecun. Yann is an acclaimed computer scientist of mobile robotics and computational neuroscience, the Silver Professor of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at N.Y.U. and Vice-President, Chief AI Scientist at Meta. His debate partner is Melanie Mitchell, a bestselling author and world-leading expert in the various fields of artificial intelligence and cognitive science at the Santa Fe Institute.


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