Matthew Pines is the Director of Intelligence at Krebs Stamos Group and a Fellow at Bitcoin Policy Institute. Chester Ney is IT Director for environmental consulting firm ALL4. In this interview, we discuss the disruptive impact of AI technology on various industries, the potential risks it poses and the geopolitical implications of AI development. We also talk about the use of AI in cybersecurity and its potential use as a tool to communicate with non-human intelligence.
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ChatGPT, the AI chatbot built on top of OpenAI’s developing large language models (LLMs), was launched in November 2022. It was a realisation of a theoretical advancement that some had imagined would forever remain elusively out of reach. The software was debatedly the most explicit illustration of Arthur C Clarke’s famous quote that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” The response to the launch went inevitably viral.
However, the awe and wonder were quickly replaced by concerns about the real-world impacts. In terms of coding, ChatGPT could automate and improve on numerous human-based coding tasks. With the upcoming release of the GPT-5 LLM, and competitor products, there is the potential that human software developers could be replaced entirely. And this is just the impact on coding. In reality, AI is and will increasingly have massively disruptive impacts on all jobs.
Job roles in the future may still have the same titles, but the day-to-day tasks involved in their fulfilment are likely to be radically different. AI will enable a tighter feedback loop between ideation, testing, and generation, such that development cycles will see rapid acceleration with huge resultant gains in productivity. Jobs may shift towards designing products and user interfaces. Plus, there will be new jobs involved in curating and securing AI systems.
The jury is out on whether AI may not pose a world-ending risk. It is more probable that AI will lead to problematic socioeconomic and cybersecurity issues. It will undoubtedly increase volatility in the labour market, and, improve tools for malign actors in the digital space. Nevertheless, it is hard to predict the impact of the expected advance of AI systems becoming capable of self-improvement. This could lead to a utopian takeoff or an existential crisis.
Then there are the known unknowns: it is inevitable that AI will enable civilisation to do incredible things in the future and at increasingly rapid speed. This will then lead to the unknown unknowns: the unimaginable impacts of the race towards a singularity. What will the impact be on society? Will AI intersect with a disclosure of non-human intelligence? Will AI enable us to communicate with such entities? Will AI fundamentally change what it is to be human? Sleep well!!!