- One of the fathers of the internet is warning against hastily investing in AI chatbots due to hype.
- Vint Cerf said “there’s an ethical issue” with chatbots because they don’t always work right.
- Cerf said people must be “thoughtful” about using AI chatbots, and it will not always benefit them.
The hype around chatbots like ChatGPT has only grown in recent weeks, but one of the creators of the internet is preaching caution amid a perceived gold rush around AI.
Vint Cerf, widely recognized as a “father of the internet,” warned people against hastily investing in conversational AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Google Bard simply because they’re “cool” and buzzed about.
While speaking at a conference in Mountain View, California, CNBC reported that Cerf said AI chatbots also have “an ethical issue” that he hopes people will think about before investing in the technology.
“Everybody’s talking about ChatGPT or Google’s version of that and we know it doesn’t always work the way we would like it to,” Cerf said, according to CNBC.
He also said people have to “remember” that some humans using new technology aren’t always genuine, and “will seek to do that which is their benefit and not yours,” so investors have to “be thoughtful about how we use these technologies,” CNBC reported.
“If you think ‘man, I can sell this to investors because it’s a hot topic and everyone will throw money at me,’ don’t do that,” Cerf reportedly said. “Be thoughtful. You were right that we can’t always predict what’s going to happen with these technologies and to be honest with you, most of the problem is people — that’s why we people haven’t changed in the last 400 years let alone the last 4,000.”
Cerf, who is vice president and chief internet evangelist at Google, is known as one of the “fathers of the internet” because he co-designed some of the internet’s architecture. As chief internet evangelist, Cerf “contributes to global policy development and continued spread of the Internet,” according to Google Research.
He told the conference audience that he asked one of the chatbots to add an emoji at the end of a sentence, but it didn’t, then apologized to him after he called it out. He said he asked a chatbot to give him a biography on himself, but its answer had errors, CNBC reported.
Cerf reportedly said that engineers, like himself, should hold themselves responsible for correcting errors, adding that learning “how to minimize the worst-case potential is very important.”
After OpenAI released its viral AI chatbot ChatGPT in November, tech giants like Google and Microsoft have joined the competition to release their own AI chatbots into the race. Google even issued a “code red” to employees after ChatGPT’s launch over concerns it could pose a threat to Google’s search engine.
A day before Microsoft was set to release its “new Bing” in collaboration with OpenAI, Google announced its AI chatbot, Bard, which CEO Sundar Pichai said is “an experimental conversational AI service.” Bard, which was released last Monday, is open to “trusted testers” now, but Pichai said it will be made available more widely in coming weeks. However, some Google employees have reportedly criticized Bard’s launch, calling it “rushed” and “botched.”
Microsoft launched its “new Bing” last Tuesday which it said is “more powerful than ChatGPT” — a claim Insider has begun testing. The revamped search engine is supposed to improve answers and has a chat extension for users to “talk” to Bing to ask it questions.