Other AI luminaries, however, have balked. Yann LeCun, chief AI scientist at Meta, told the MIT Technology Review that fear of an AI takeover is “preposterously ridiculous.” Sarah Myers West, managing director of the nonprofit AI Now Institute, told ABC News: “A lot of this is more rhetoric than grounded analysis.”

“AI in previous instantiations was a largely invisible system,” Myers West said. “It wasn’t something we interacted with in a tangible way. This has had a really visceral effect on the broader public in that it’s contributing to this wave of both excitement and a tremendous amount of anxiety.

At present, essentially the way these systems work is akin to applied statistics, so they don’t have any capacity for deeper understanding, don’t have any capacity for empathy and certainly not sentience,” Myers West added.

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