• Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden discussed the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) at Consensus 2023, noting that AI has the potential to be “better than us.”
• Snowden criticized OpenAI and Stable Diffusion for not providing open access to their training data, suggesting that corporations and governments have distinct advantages in the AI field thanks to the data centers they have access to about citizen behavior.
• He argued that many of AI’s errors can be fixed, but cautioned against trying to teach machines to think like humans instead of being “better than us.”

Edward Snowden Discusses Artificial Intelligence

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden spoke at Consensus 2023 regarding the latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI), and how it could be leveraged for both human flourishing and greater surveillance. He argued that many of AI’s errors can be fixed, but cautioned against trying to teach machines to think like humans instead of being “better than us.”

OpenAI & Stable Diffusion Criticized

Snowden called out OpenAI’s “cruel joke” in branding itself with the name that it chose, given that it won’t provide open access to its training data. He said that Stable Diffusion is guilty of similar activity, deliberately crippling its training set from version 1.5 to 2.0 because of moral panics and various accusations.

Legislative Challenges & Advantages

Legislatively, Snowden believes AI is very difficult to handle. Corporations and governments are increasingly observing the public, making people more “legible” and “malleable.” These entities have distinct advantages in the AI field thanks to their vast data centers which contain information about citizen behavior.

Moral Implications Of Artificial Intelligence

Snowden warned about a kind of software communism where models must be open due to moral implications of artificial intelligence technology being abused by powerful entities such as corporations or governments for their own gain or surveillance purposes.

„Better Than Us“

On a brighter note, Snowden believes many of AI’s errors can be fixed as long as developers don’t try teaching their machines how humans learn – instead they should strive towards creating something „better than us.“