Marc Andreessen thinks A.I. will save the world, not kill it.
Steve JenningsGetty Images for TechCrunch
Marc Andreessen has a prediction: artificial intelligence is going to make lives much better. Whether its jobs or social inequality, he expects all aspects to be impacted positively by this powerful technology.
In particular, the billionaire venture capitalist thinks that childrens education could look a lot different with A.I.
Every child will have an A.I. tutor that is infinitely patient, infinitely compassionate, infinitely knowledgeable, infinitely helpful, Andreessen, who is the co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, wrote in an essay published Tuesday. He said the machine would manifest its love by assisting kids.
The A.I. tutor will be by each childs side every step of their development, helping them maximize their potential with the machine version of infinite love.
He also said that investing in the development of A.I. is a moral obligation to ourselves and our children. Other fields that Andreessen expects A.I. to have knock-on effects on include science, business and arts, where A.I. collaborators could expand the scope of work that humans currently have to offer. Not just that, the investing veteran expects a massive productivity boost across industries, thanks to A.I., which will help grow the economy and drive up wages over time.
Anything that people do with their natural intelligence today can be done much better with A.I., and we will be able to take on new challenges that have been impossible to tackle without A.I., from curing all diseases to achieving interstellar travel, Andreessen wrote.
The investor, whose firm is involved in several A.I. undertakings, has always had a bullish view of new technological developments and their impact on labor and society. In a famous 2011 essay, Andreessen predicted that software would eat up a big chunk of the economyand in some ways, it has. And now, A.I. may be in the path to do the same, which is a good thing, Andreessen argues.
The growing interest in A.I. in recent months has also spurred fears surrounding what the adoption of this tech may do to societyparticularly in the hands of bad actors. But Andreessen dismissed peoples fears surrounding A.I. in his 7,000-word-long manifesto, saying the paranoia was unfounded.
A.I. doesnt want, it doesnt have goals, it doesnt want to kill you, because its not alive, the venture capitalist wrote. And A.I. is a machineis not going to come alive any more than your toaster will.
He said the people who were spreading fear and doomsday narratives about A.I. had a non-scientific position on the subject and could hardly prove the risks that they highlighted. Other experts in the field, like A.I. ethicists or risk researchers, were ultimately being paid to be doomers, Andreessen argued.
Still, Andreessen acknowledged that A.I. makes cybercrime or fake content generation easier as its powerful and easy to access for all actorsgood and bad. But he also suggests it can be used to find solutions to the same problems it may give rise to.
To regulate or not to regulate, that is the question
Another billionaire shared similar optimism on how A.I. could improve society. Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft, said the tech had the ability to reduce inequity by providing greater access to things like healthcare. But he also added that governments had to play an active role in ensuring that doesnt happen.
Andreessen, on the other hand, said that big companies should grow A.I. as fast and aggressive as they can while cautioning them against giving into a government-protected cartel that makes competition from smaller companies impossible. He advocated for government partnerships, but not regulations clamping down on A.I.s proliferation. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt also said last month that the government should stay away from regulating A.I. as it could stunt the techs development.
Andreessens remarks on regulations contrast with what a number of experts have said in recent months about the threats of A.I. and the need for guardrails. Even last week, technologists and industry veterans including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman signed a letter to open up discussion in light of the existential risk that A.I. posed.
In March, other tech experts urged that companies hold back on advanced A.I. developments for six months so that it could pave way for government regulations to take effect. Even top executives, including Alphabets Sundar Pichai, at companies caught in the thick of the A.I. race have indicated that they want governments to oversee the techs development so it doesnt get out of hand.
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