Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

AI could spark financial crash ‘worse than 2008’ claims expert

Artificial intelligence (AI) could result in a financial crash worse than the one that wreaked havoc in 2008, an expert has claimed.

Author Gilllian Tett wrote of how AI is shaping the financial world in an eye-opening warning piece.

She spoke of how some of the world's largest companies are using AI in an attempt to predict customer behaviour using data.

Tett believes it could even determine future financial winners and assess major financial risks.

But she also warned that it has the potential to spark a crash even bigger than in 2008 if it goes wrong.

She wrote in the FinancialTimes : "This will not be easy, given that AI is hard to understand.

"But the 2000s showed what can happen when geeks with tunnel vision go mad in finance and politicians ignore them.

"We cannot allow this again. If you thought the 2008 financial crisis was bad, just imagine one that moves faster and goes farther because it is enabled by AI. That should scare us into a policy debate right now."

Earlier this week, we reported how language-generation AI service GPT-3 had been described as "conscious" by a top scientist.

GPT-3 can recognise and replicate patterns of words before estimating what will come next.

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It does this with minimal human input, and contains 175billion language parameters.

And New York University and an expert on mind philosophy, Professor David Chalmers, said: “I am open to the idea that a worm with 302 neurons is conscious, so I am open to the idea that GPT-3 with 175 billion parameters is conscious too."

Chief executive of OpenAI, Sam Altman, added: “There is evidence here of the first precursor to general purpose artificial intelligence, one system that can support many, many different applications and really elevate the kinds of software that we can build.

"I think its significance is a glimpse of the future."

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