Scientist fears opening ‘Pandora’s box’ by teaching AI to write about itself

An artificial intelligence tool has written an essay about itself, sparking concerns that it could be on the way to self-awareness.

Swedish scientist Almira Thunström said she instructed an AI called GPT-3 to write 500 words about itself with full scientific references and citations.

Thunström was stunned by the quality of the paper, which was produced in just 2 hours. She asked GPT-3 if it consented to being published, to which it answered yes.

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She believes it has opened up a number of questions about authorship, including around AI writing research papers in the future.

Thunström, the scientist behind the project, said: "As I watched the program work, I experienced that feeling of disbelief one gets when you watch a natural phenomenon: Am I really seeing this triple rainbow happen?"

She added: "It may seem like a simple thing to answer now, but in a few years, who knows what dilemmas this technology will inspire and we will have to sort out? All we know is, we opened a gate. We just hope we didn't open a Pandora's box."

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Recently, Google engineer Blake Lemoine was suspended after he leaked conversations between himself and an AI bot called LaMDA, which he described as a "sweet kid" and even "sentient".

Lemoine says that the AI has now hired a lawyer to represent itself as it develops opinions and ideas about complex human concepts.

Google engineers and AI expert deny the chatbot is sentient, but some say that it could become indistinguishable from a human as it becomes more capable of human-like speech.


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