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AI hype is as bad as crypto

by on02 April 2024

DeepMind co-founder warns against the gold rush mentality

Sir Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind, has warned that the rush to throw cash at artificial intelligence has left the industry drowning in crypto-like hysteria.

Speaking to the Financial Times, the head honcho of Google’s AI arm slammed the billions flooding into AI start-ups, branding it a "whole attendant bunch of hype and maybe some grifting."

He added: "Some of that has now spilt over into AI, which I think is unfortunate. And it clouds the science and the research, which is phenomenal."

Hassabis's comments follow OpenAI's ChatGPT launch, which triggered a feeding frenzy among investors scrambling to invest in generative AI projects. Venture capitalists splurged a staggering €42.64 billion in 2,500 AI start-ups last year alone.

But it's not just private investors getting in on the action. Public market punters are flocking to tech giants like Microsoft, Alphabet, and Nvidia, fuelling a market surge unseen in five years.

However, the AI gold rush isn't without its pitfalls. Regulators are already sniffing around for false claims, with Gary Gensler, head honcho of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, warning against "AI washing."

Despite the hype, Hassabis remains optimistic about AI's potential, pointing to DeepMind's AlphaFold model as proof of concept. The tech has already predicted the structures of a staggering 200 million proteins, revolutionising the field of biology.

But the road to AI nirvana is paved with challenges. Hassabis reckons we still need a couple of critical breakthroughs before we reach "artificial general intelligence" (AGI), the holy grail of AI.

With the stakes so high, Hassabis advocates for a scientific approach to AGI and urges caution against Silicon Valley's "hacker" mentality.

Despite his optimism, Hassabis admits AGI might still be a decade away, with a 50 per cent chance of success.

As the race for AI dominance heats up, one thing's for sure - the future of technology hangs in the balance.

Last modified on 02 April 2024
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