The Median Human Controversy Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has a recurring theme in his discourse on artificial general intelligence (AGI): the idea of AGI equating to a “median human.” His statements hint at AGI potentially replacing many jobs, and it’s not just him; this phrasing appears across several AI discussions.
Context: This terminology found its way into various AI blogs and even featured in a CNBC article on discussing AI.
Implication: It suggests that those leading average lives may soon be contending with AI for their jobs.
What the Experts Say Many experts find the use of “median” in defining human capacity to be problematic:
Brent Mittelstadt of Oxford Internet Institute feels the comparison is offensive, citing concerns about the lack of concrete measurable human intelligence comparisons within AI research.
Henry Shevlin, AI ethicist at Cambridge, believes that while AI can achieve typical human-level performance, it becomes controversial when we delve into the realm of intelligence.
Altman’s Vision Sam Altman is a significant figure in the AI industry, with ambitious goals:
He envisions using AI to tackle global challenges such as climate change and fostering clean energy.
He champions the idea of AI benefiting all of humanity.
In Perspective While Altman speaks of monumental benefits from AI, his narrative often falls back on viewing a large portion of humanity as replaceable “median” entities, raising questions about the inclusivity and valuation of human roles.
Bottom Line: As the AI discourse evolves, defining its relationship with humanity becomes increasingly vital. Will AI complement or compete? Only time will tell
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