Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin issued a stark warning about the potential risks of artificial intelligence (AI) and centralization. Vitalik has shared his views on the debates around techno-optimism and ways to avoid extreme centralization.
Buterin expressed deep concerns that AI could pose a threat to humanity if it is not carefully developed and controlled. He highlighted the dangers of AI becoming too powerful and autonomous, warning that if AI is not properly aligned with human values, it could potentially make decisions that are harmful to humanity.
“One way in which AI gone wrong could make the world worse is (almost) the worst possible way: it could literally cause human extinction,” Buterin said. Though this is an extreme claim. AI might seem like providing a comforting lifestyle; however, he said on the deeper side, “It seems like the Minds are completely in charge, and humans’ only role in the stories is to act as pawns of Minds.”
He even asked ChatGPT about human roles, to which it replied, “It seems very hard to have a “friendly” superintelligent-AI-dominated world where humans are anything other than pets.”
Buterin cited an August 2022 survey from over 4,270 machine learning researchers who estimated a 5–10% chance that AI would kill humanity.
He believes that humanity is “deeply good” and that “we, humans, are the brightest star.”
Buterin also acknowledges the critical issue of extreme centralization and the dire state of cybersecurity. He attributes this primarily to the lack of robust cyber defense measures in crucial areas.
Buterin emphasizes that centralized chokepoints hinder industries’ ability to effectively collect data and manipulate outcomes. Therefore, technologies like blockchains and zero-knowledge proofs hold immense promise for the future. These technologies have the potential to significantly enhance privacy, transparency, and security across diverse sectors.
While acknowledging the challenges posed by these issues, Buterin remains optimistic about humanity’s collective ability to overcome them. He expresses his eagerness to witness the solutions that will emerge from collaborative efforts.