December 11, 2023

xAI Calls for Multidisciplinary Ethics Team In AI Development

Elon Musk’s recent announcement about his new artificial intelligence company, xAI, has sparked a conversation about the pressing need to address the potential and risks of AI.

Musk has decided to launch the company whose mission would be to “understand the true nature of the universe”. It calls for the urgency to tackle existential questions about AI.

Beyond the basic mission of the new company, the formation of such an organization raises the question of how organizations spearheading the development of AI should respond to the crucial aspects.

It’s imperative to have the right people with proper expertise in the right position to provide meaningful answers.

Among other questions, the fundamental concern is about who, within these organizations, would actively engage with the short- and long-term effects of the AI technology they are working on.

The development of AI encompasses domains beyond computer science. Rather, the challenge is multidimensional and requires insights from different disciplines.

The term ‘alignment problem’ can be used to accurately describe the challenge faced while deploying AI. Machines often tend to misinterpret instructions provided by humans. This can lead to disinformation and biases and even erode the fabric of the society.

Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the objectives, human values, and intelligence is necessary to tackle this question. Thinking beyond technology, it’s imperative to embrace a holistic approach to combine insights from ethics, neuroscience, and philosophy to address this issue.

What Should The Ideal Team In An AI Company Include?

Considering xAI to be the model that would spearhead further research on AI, it’s crucial to visualize an internal setup consisting of professionals from different backgrounds. Ideally, the deck should include its Chief AI and Data Ethicist, whose role would be to address the ethical impacts of AI and the use of data in the short and long terms.

These professionals need to develop ethical principles guiding the use of data, define the rights of citizens about AI data usage, and establish reference architectures.

The organizations should also have the position of a Chief Philosopher Architect, who would focus on long-term existential concerns. They would be responsible for defining and safeguarding policies, kill switches, and backdoors for AI so that it closely aligns with the objectives and needs of humans. The priority should be to shape the ethical framework to guide the behavior of AI.

Plus, the organization should have the profile of a Chief Neuroscientist who would explore how AI models generate intelligence and identify the models of human cognition that are relevant to the development of AI.

This role involves the understanding of the internal operations of AI from a neuroscientific perspective. Assembling the comprehensive team for AI startups is just the initial step. These platforms would need technologists to transform their insights into effective and responsible technologies.

In the age of AI, product leaders need to develop ‘Human in the Loop’ workflows. This will help them deploy safety measures that the chief philosopher architect recommends.

Next, the platforms can translate the protocols or policies that the chief AI and data ethicist defines into functional systems.

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