"We need to embrace it because, right now, this AI can be used to improve humanity."
Artificial Intelligence used to be something reserved for futuristic movies and television shows but it’s about to become a part of our everyday lives.
In the past few years, AI has become more prevalent than ever and moving forward, it has the ability to revolutionize things like medical research and the education system. And with the recent introduction of AI services like ChatGPT, a chatbot developed by OpenAI, it’s already being used by a lot of people.
While AI does have the capability to improve society, it does pose a lot of unanswered questions, from concerns about job security to the fears that it might just take over humanity. Now that these are issues the public has to consider, some celebrities and public figures are weighing in with what they think -- and there’s a lot of mixed opinions.
Janelle Monae says she’s been considering the implications of AI since the beginning of her career, which fans may know considering she has sometimes gone by the ArchAndroid persona of Cindi Mayweather. Looking to the future, Janelle says society, and particularly the music industry, is going to “have to figure out how we’re going to integrate because it’s not going away.”
"We're going to live in a world right now where you can't differentiate The Beatles from The AI Beatles from the Beach Boys. If they put it out and you hear it and you’re like, 'Oh, that’s really them. That’s really them.' Some of them I can't tell," she said during an interview with Zane Lowe.
Janelle later added, “Human connection is so important because this is really the only time I think we'll have to, like, super connect before [AI] goes to the next level. And that's not to be feared, it’s just to know that we will be living in a different world.”
Robert Downey Jr. has been involved in the world of AI for quite some time and even announced his organization, The Footprint Coalition, during an AI conference hosted by Amazon. At the event, Robert explained that the group is aiming to use advanced technologies to help the environment.
"Between robotics and nanotechnology, we could clean up the planet significantly, if not totally, in 10 years," he shared at the conference.
Since then, The Footprint Coalition has invested money in ClimateAI, which uses artificial intelligence to "mitigate the impact of climate change and uncover new opportunities that may arise as a result." Robert also recently hosted an eight-part YouTube documentary called "The Age of AI" that discussed the ways artificial intelligence, machine learning and neural networks will change the world.
Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am seems to have conflicted feelings about the use of AI. While his company I.AM+ helped to launch AI-based assistant Omega in 2018, he believes that the rise of AI could be concerning for everyday people. As AI progresses, will.i.am says people need to protect their "facial math."
"We all have voices and everyone’s compromised because there are no rights or ownership to your facial math or your voice frequency. Forget songs, people calling up your bank pretending to be you. Just family matters. Wiring money. You get a FaceTime or a Zoom call and because there’s no spatial intelligence on the call, there’s nothing to authenticate if this is an AI call or a person call," he said on SiriusXM.
He continued, "That’s the urgent thing, protecting our facial math. I am my face math. I don’t own that. I own the rights to 'I Got A Feeling,' I own the rights to the songs I wrote, but I don't own the rights to my face or my voice? There’s new laws and new industries about to boom. These are all new parameters that we're all trying to navigate around because the technology is that amazing and with amazingness comes regulations and governance that that we have yet to implement."
Ryan Reynolds is taking advantage of AI and recently got ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, to write a commercial for his phone company Mint Mobile. He asked the chatbot to write the commercial in his voice using a joke and a curse word in order to inform customers about the company’s holiday promotion.
After reading what ChatGPT had created, Ryan said the whole thing was "mildly terrifying but compelling."
Ashton Kutcher is investing in AI companies in the hopes of embracing the future. In May 2023, his venture firm, Sound Ventures, launched a $240 million AI fund. So far, the firm has invested in companies like OpenAI, Anthropic and stability.ai. Ashton explained that when he saw ChatGPT launch, he realized it was "an absolute breakthrough."
"If you were a commerce company 10 years ago and you didn't embrace e-commerce, you're probably not in business anymore. And I firmly believe that if you're a company today and you're not embracing the changes that are taking place with AI, you're going to be behind, and you're gonna have a hard time catching up," he told Bloomberg.
He continued, "This is going to change business forever, and we need to embrace it because, right now, this AI can be used to improve humanity. I actually look at it as an equity and an inclusion play where, you know, as we commoditize things like legal advice and medical advice and education, and personalize those things…down to the individual consumer…all of a sudden people who can't get a doctor on the phone or can't get a lawyer on the phone or can't get a pediatrician on the phone…they're gonna have access to these services…and access to these services at an affordable price."
Elon Musk has been warning the public about the dangers of AI for many years -- despite being an original founder of OpenAI. Back in 2017, shortly before he resigned from the company’s board, he went as far as to suggest that AI could trigger a third World War and could be a bigger threat than North Korea.
"China, Russia, soon all countries w strong computer science. Competition for AI superiority at national level most likely cause of WW3 imo (in my opinion)," he tweeted.
More recently, Elon signed a petition calling for a moratorium on the development of AI tools in the hopes of having time to put safety standards and regulations in place to protect civilization. Then at a conference in 2023, Elon shared that there is a “non-zero chance” that artificial intelligence could annihilate humanity.
"There’s a non-zero chance of it going Terminator. It’s not zero percent. It's a small likelihood of annihilating humanity, but it's not zero. We want that probability to be as close to zero as possible," he said, later adding that he believed it could also go in the complete opposite direction.
Instead of destroying humanity, an advanced AI system could also decide to implement "strict controls" and seize weapons, acting like an "uber-nanny" in order to protect society and prevent war.
After directing movies like "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" and "Minority Report," Steven Spielberg admits he’s nervous about the impact AI technology will have on the future. He explained that he loves when humans are able to use digital tools to express themselves but if art ends up being entirely created by AI, then it will steal the "creative spirit" from the art that humans have crafted from the beginning of time.
"The soul is unimaginable and is ineffable. It cannot be created by any algorithm. It is just something that exists in all of us. And to lose that because books and movies, music is being written by machines that we created…That terrifies me…It'll be the 'Twilight Zone'. It'll be a cookbook and we’re on the menu," he said on "The Late Show."
Before Stephen Hawking’s passing, he worried that AI could lead to the end of the human race. He shared that if AI was to become too advanced, it could eventually lead to a "new kind of life that will outperform humans."
"The genie is out of the bottle. We need to move forward on artificial intelligence development but we also need to be mindful of its very real dangers. I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that replicates itself," he shared with Wired.
Bill Gates has long spoken out about the rise of AI, sharing that he was "concerned about super intelligence" back in 2015. Now that AI is more prevalent with the introduction of services like ChatGPT, the Microsoft co-founder says humanity should cautiously embrace the new technology. Microsoft even invested more than $10 billion in OpenAI.
In a recent op-ed, he called the development of AI "as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone." He shared that AI could potentially accelerate medical research, have use as an educational tool and take over basic tasks in the workplace. He did also note that AI could pose a threat to humanity so policymakers need to step in to "limit the risks."
"We should try to balance fears about the downsides of AI -- which are understandable and valid -- with its ability to improve people’s lives. To make the most of this remarkable new technology, we'll need to both guard against the risks and spread the benefits to as many people as possible," he wrote.
He added, "I'm lucky to have been involved with the PC revolution and the Internet revolution. I’m just as excited about this moment. This new technology can help people everywhere improve their lives. At the same time, the world needs to establish the rules of the road so that any downsides of artificial intelligence are far outweighed by its benefits, and so that everyone can enjoy those benefits no matter where they live or how much money they have. The Age of AI is filled with opportunities and responsibilities."