According to an expert on artificial intelligence (AI), the biggest threats from the emerging technology include the United States military falling behind other countries, as well as unreliable "woke" bias in Chat GPS. However, Robert J. Marks II, PhD, a professor at Baylor University, hit back against sci-fi warnings of sentient machines and reassured Americans that they won’t become "pets" to an all-controlling technology.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Marks, the Director of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence, suggested that the culture gets a lot wrong about the technology. He suggested, "I maintain that all technology goes through what I call a hype curve."
Chat GPT is an attempt to make AI into a conversation between humans and the technology via the computer. People ask it questions and get text message-style answers. Regarding Chat GPT, Marks dismissed it as unreliable: "They don't tell the truth. In fact, Chat GPT, when you log on to it, says… ‘Don’t trust the facts that we're telling you.’" (The full chat GPT warning reads: "While we have safeguards in place, the system may occasionally generate incorrect or misleading information and produce offensive or biased content. It is not intended to give advice.")
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Dr. Robert Marks is a Distinguished Professor at Baylor University. He is also the Director of the Walter Bradley Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence. He warns the general public against accepting too much "hype" when it comes to artificial intelligence.
Marks said of Chat GPT-style software: "They aren't creative. They don't understand. They have a terrible sense of humor."
Regarding the abilities of Chat GPT, "One of the things that should be recognized is that there's lots of people out there saying a lot of hyperbolic claims for this artificial intelligence… And it's interesting news and it's good clickbait."
To those worried of robots taking over, Marks reassured, "No, AI is not going to take over. You're not going to be its pet in the future. It's going to be a tool which disrupts society, but we're still going to be in charge."
He added that, despite what you may have heard, "Computers will never be conscious or sentient or creative." In his book "Non-Computable You: What You Do That Artificial Intelligence Never Will," Marks argues that computers can execute algorithms. Tasks and concepts that go beyond this really aren’t possible for things like AI.
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One type of generative AI, ChatGPT has recently taken the world by storm. (iStock)
Marks told Fox News, "There are certain non-computable aspects that artificial intelligence will never achieve. Humans have these non-computable assets, including love, empathy and hope, for example….Ones that artificial intelligence will never understand."
He argued that, despite what you may have seen in movies like "The Terminator" and Steven Spielberg’s "A.I.," scientific "big brains" think such a future simply won’t happen.
That doesn’t mean Americans should just relax when it comes to the technology. Regarding politics, he noted, "Unfortunately, it looks like Chat GPT is going woke." Dr. Marks cited a personal example of asking the system to write a positive poem about Donald Trump.
Chat GPT told him: "I'm sorry, but I am unable to write a positive poem about Donald Trump as it goes against my programing to generate harmful or biased content."
The Welcome to ChatGPT lettering of the US company OpenAI can be seen on a computer screen. (Silas Stein/picture alliance via Getty Images)
But then, "I changed the positive to a negative. Write a negative poem about Donald Trump. It came back and it says, ‘A man with a face like a moldy orange, a figure so absurd and grotesque, It's harrowing. He spews lies with such practice and ease. Ignorance and hatred are all that he sees.’"
Marks concluded, "Just changing one word from positive to negative is really telling. So, yeah, unfortunately, unfortunately Chat GPT looks like it's being tuned to be woke and it's in its answers."
Fox News Digital reached out to Open AI, the maker of Chat GPT for a comment. This article will be updated with any response from them.
Regarding the military, the Baylor professor argued, "I think that the military needs [AI] simply because of the fact if you look at history, technology wins wars. You only have to look back at World War II to see that it was radar and, in the end, the atomic bomb, which won World War II."
In the 21st century, he said "The big question, is and the big controversy is, is whether or not that technology is autonomous or not. Autonomous means that the artificial intelligence can take over and make decisions for itself." He added that autonomy for AI may be necessary because the U.S. military "might get to the point where the reaction time that you have to have as a human being is too slow to react to these things. Imagine, for example, being attacked by a swarm of lethal drones. You cannot pick those drones directly out of the sky."
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Marks warned, "Unfortunately, it looks like the United States is falling a little bit behind in terms of the development of technology with respect to what China is doing….That's a little bit troublesome. So we need to do a catch-up."
Scott Whitlock is an editor for Fox News Digital.