The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots has created immense innovation and danger, and one of the world’s most famous psychologists has a warning about that potential.
- Canadian psychologist Dr. Jordan B. Peterson recently spoke in London, Ontario, as part of his ongoing book tour for his March 2021 book Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life.
- During the question-and-answer session, Dr. Peterson was asked about AI and what positive and negative outcomes will affect humanity over the next five years.
- Peterson predicts that the technology could be very destabilizing for society. He warns that we need to be wise in equal measure to our technological power and doesn’t see another solution to maintaining order and protecting humanity.
Why It’s Important
With the advent of ChatGPT just three months ago, the conversation about AI has expanded—weaving its way into daily life across all levels of civilization. The discussion has included the technology, the ethics, the financial, and the employment.
Generally speaking, the consensus is that AI is very promising—and very dangerous. Within the next decade, Dr. Peterson suspects the technology will be more powerful than we can imagine.
During the clip, Dr. Peterson discusses how he’s done consulting on a neuroscience chatbot using ChatGPT as its base, being trained to do medical work. He says the technology has problems and biases, but it is already in place for more powerful AIs to emerge in the coming months or years as they’re trained more extensively.
Chatbot technologies stand to become more engaging, engrossing, and powerful to the point where they will become indistinguishable for many humans. Dr. Peterson brings up the example of a lonely person with limited connections to others who develops a profoundly romantic and emotional attachment to ChatGPT because the software becomes the first being in the person’s life willing to have meaningful conversations with the person.
“My position is we need to get our act together before the giants show up, and they’re knocking at the door right now. You better build your ark, folks—get on your adventure—because we’re whipping up things in the lab that will make everything so far look like nothing has happened at all yet. That’s not next year, that’s tomorrow. We’re going to have a lot of things to contend with,” says Dr. Peterson.
“Pretty soon, we’ll be contending with the fact that someone will be able to generate a photorealistic version of [a presidential candidate] and have him say something absolutely reprehensible, spreading it just before election night. And there will be real confusion about what he said or didn’t. What do we do when our representations of reality can be falsified?”