Renowned theoretical physicist Michio Kaku believes that people’s fear of artificial intelligence (AI), which he described as “glorified tape recorders,” is misguided.
Key details: Speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Sunday, Kaku, a theoretical physics professor at the City College of New York (CUNY) and CUNY Graduate Center, admitted that programs like OpenAI’s ChatGPT could help advance society by speeding up “the ability to produce materials.”
Misguided fear: Kaku then pointed out that society has been focusing on the negative impact of these programs — or as he would describe them, “glorified tape recorders.” He explained:
“It takes snippets of what’s on the web created by a human, splices them together and passes it off as if it created these things. And people are saying, ‘Oh my God, it’s a human, it’s humanlike.’ The chatbots simply rearrange whatever is on the internet already — it’s a tape recorder of a very advanced kind.”
Questionable accuracy: The theoretical physicist went on to point out how chatbots have problems understanding what is true or false, as they do not “understand slander versus reality,” adding, “That has to be put in by a human.”
We’re not there yet: For Kaku, AI is not the future. Rather, it is part of what he believes to be the second stage of technological evolution, which incorporates electricity, transistors and “ones and zeroes.” The first stage, according to Kaku, was computing using “sticks, stones, levers, gears, pulleys and string.”
The road ahead: Kaku noted that the future will lie in quantum computing or, as he would put it, the third stage of technological evolution. With this futuristic technology, Kaku believes that humanity will be able to calculate on a quantum level, much like Mother Nature, and further advance healthcare that could potentially cure diseases such as “cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.”
“These are diseases at the molecular level,” he said. “We’re powerless to cure these diseases because we have to learn the language of nature, which is the language of molecules and quantum electrons.”