AI is ‘a nuclear bomb and the entire world has already got it,’ Palantir ethics expert warns

An artificial intelligence ethics expert at a company that develops software used in war zones this week likened the emergence of widely available advanced AI to an atomic bomb, raising concerns about how powerful technology might be used. expressed.

John Grant, a human rights engineer at AI software company Palantir, said during a panel discussion at the Reagan Institute Education Summit (RISE) hosted by President Ronald Reagan, “AI is a nuclear bomb, and the whole world already has one.” I put it in,” he said. Foundations and Institutes meet on Thursday.

A woman walks under Palantir’s sign at the stand of big data analytics software company Palantir ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, May 22, 2022. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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“I don’t know if we as a society are ready to deal with it,” he explained. “We have to take responsibility for how people use it, but that’s the challenge.”

Grant said the situation reminds him of the Twitter engineer who invented the retweet button. famous words“I could have given a four-year-old a loaded weapon.”

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This liberal rights engineer is responsible for educating Palantir employees about AI ethics, identifying ethical issues in technology and defining boundaries for taking responsibility for the impact technology can have on society. He says he teaches his colleagues how to draw lines. The same should be taught to children in schools, Grant said, so that those developing new technology understand that they have the power to control how it is used. said.

Palantir Defense Vehicle

The Palantir Technologies TITAN (Tactical Intelligence Targeting Access Node) for deploying military and defense intelligence is on display at the company’s booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 5, 2023. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

“Students must be instilled with responsibility for what they are building and their impact on the world. Engineers and computer scientists must be told, ‘Hey, we’re going to build this, and we’ll do well.’ It’s going to be cool,’ he said.

Grant told the RISE audience that one of the driving forces behind starting the educational program at Palantir was a quote he read from Frank Oppenheimer, the brother of Robert Oppenheimer, the alleged father of the atomic bomb. . Both worked on the Manhattan Project.

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When Frank Oppenheimer was later asked how he felt about his involvement in developing weapons of genocide, Grant said, “For some reason, it never occurred to me that it would be used on humans.” It is said that he answered about the purpose.

robot hand with atomic symbol

Palantir’s AI ethics experts warn that the widespread advanced technology is akin to an atomic bomb. (license/image)

“His reaction chilled me,” said Grant, noting that the bomb was developed “during the most violent and bloody war in history.”

“I’m not disrespecting Oppenheimer,” Grant explained, noting that physicists were “solving mechanical problems, but they were solving engineering problems,” and that the broader said it had not taken into account the impact of


“We have to show every engineer, every student that it’s not just the project at hand,” he repeated. “We need to understand what impact it will have on the world, and then ask, ‘Am I happy or not happy with that, and how are we going to mitigate those negative impacts? Are you?’ I must say.”

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