John Giannandrea, Google's head of machine learning, has said that threats that artificial intelligence (AI) will take over the world, or cause an apocalypse are completely unfounded. He thinks people are excessively worried about general purpose AI.
The statement coming from an AI expert belonging to one of the most powerful tech companies in the world is diametrically opposed to the opinion of the head of another tech giant, Elon Musk, who warned that AI is a "fundamental risk to the existence of human civilisation" not too long ago.
Giannandrea is known to have likened AI to a four-year-old child a few years ago. But when he was asked about it at the TechCrunch Disrupt event held at San Francisco between 18 and 20 September, he said, "They're not nearly as general purpose as a 4-year-old child," reports TechCrunch.
He went on to say how there is a huge deal of hype around AI right now and that people in general are unreasonably concerned about the rise of AI. He clarified that Google is researching and building AI tools to make people more productive. "Machine learning and artificial intelligence are extremely important and will revolutionize our industry," he said.
On asked about the doomsday scenarios involving AI being predicted, Giannandrea said that he is definitely not worried, "I just object to the hype and soundbites that some people are making," he said.
"This leap into, 'Somebody is going to produce a superhuman intelligence, and then there's going to be all these ethical issues' is unwarranted and borderline irresponsible," he added.
This comes at a time when apart from Musk, several other tech innovators and world leaders are worried about a possible machine uprising. There was even an open letter written to the UN voicing some of these concerns. Musk had earlier warned about the possibility of robots and AI taking over our everyday lives and had said that AI-powered machines could possibly bring about the "third revolution in warfare".