Shortly after ChatGPT’s release, a cadre of critics rose to fame claiming AI would soon kill us. As wondrous as a computer speaking in natural language might be, it could use that intelligence to level the planet. The thinking went mainstream via letters calling for research pauses and 60 Minutes interviews amplifying existential concerns. Leaders like Barack Obama publicly worried about AI autonomously hacking the financial system — or worse. And last week, President Biden issued an executive order imposing some restraints on AI development.
That was enough for several prominent AI researchers who finally started pushing back hard after watching the so-called AI Doomers influence the narrative and, therefore, the field’s future.