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### Tech Leaders Concerned About AI Granting Big Tech Excessive Power

ChatGPT marked the start of what many in the industry have called an AI arms race, as tech giants h…

Tech leaders have raised concerns about the limited number of companies controlling the growth of artificial intelligence, potentially granting them excessive influence over its rapid progression.

In recent weeks, OpenAI’s ChatGPT garnered significant attention for its unique ability to interact with user queries, sparking interest in AI technologies.

This surge in popularity has fueled what many in the tech sector describe as an AI race, with industry giants such as Microsoft and Google vying to develop and deploy their AI models. These endeavors necessitate substantial computational resources for training on extensive datasets.

Currently, only a handful of enterprises possess the means to create and utilize these large-scale AI models, granting them disproportionate authority over our societal structures and daily lives. Meredith Whittaker, the president of the secure messaging platform Signal, emphasized this point during a recent conversation with CNBC.

Whittaker, who previously spent 13 years at Google, expressed disillusionment in 2017 upon discovering the company’s involvement in Project Maven, a controversial collaboration with the Department of Defense. This realization prompted her to organize a protest within Google, rallying thousands of employees concerned about the potential militarization of Google’s AI technology.

According to Whittaker, the current manifestation of AI primarily reflects centralized corporate dominance and control, facilitated by a select group of prominent tech firms predominantly based in the United States and China. These companies have amassed vast amounts of data through their advertising-driven business models, enabling them to develop new technologies by processing and organizing this data effectively.

Frank McCourt, the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, leads Project Liberty, an initiative advocating for a more responsible approach to technological advancement. McCourt shares Whittaker’s apprehension about the excessive power that tech giants could wield through AI, warning that a few major companies currently hold a monopoly on data.

The significance of extensive datasets in training large language models cannot be overstated. McCourt cautioned that without intervention, these dominant platforms will continue to thrive, consolidating their influence over the technological landscape.

Whittaker, McCourt, and others contend that individuals have relinquished control of their online data, allowing tech giants to exploit it for financial gain. McCourt’s Project Liberty manifesto asserts that major tech and social media corporations are causing significant harm to society, a situation that could be exacerbated by AI advancements.

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, share concerns about the dominance of tech titans in the digital realm. Despite this, Wales remains optimistic about the potential for change in the AI landscape, pointing to leaked internal memos from Facebook that suggest opportunities for open-source AI models to challenge the current industry leaders.

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Tags: Last modified: December 4, 2023
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