Meta Platforms was a notable absentee from a group of technology companies, including Google, Microsoft, OpenAI and Anthropic which co-signed a statement warning AI could lead to the extinction of humanity.
Notable signatories of the statement included Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI which is behind generative AI platform ChatGPT; Demis Hassabis, head of Google Deepmind; the co-founder of developer Anthropic, Dario Amodei; and executives from Microsoft.
Published by non-profit research association Centre for AI Safety, the single-sentence statement read: “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”
AI pioneers Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio were also listed as signatories, along with other academics researching the technology, scientists developing systems and professors from Chinese universities.
However, in listing those that had supported the message, the Centre for AI Safety made a point of stating that “leaders from Meta have not signed”.
Meta Platforms’ absence backs a recent message coming from the company suggesting fears about AI may be overblown.
Professor Yann LeCun, chief AI scientist of research at Meta Platforms who won a Turing award with Hinton and Bengio for pioneering work on neural networks, recently tweeted the “most common reaction by AI researchers to these prophecies of doom is face palming”.
Commenting on the statement, Dan Hendrycks, director of the Centre of AI Safety added it is crucial negative impacts of AI already being felt across the world are addressed.
“As we grapple with immediate AI risks like malicious use, misinformation and disempowerment, the AI industry and governments around the world need to also seriously confront the risk that future AIs could pose a threat to human existence.”