Fears of ‘Humanlike’ AI Are Overblown, Futurist Says

Some people worry about the rise of AI. Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku is not among them.

In an interview with CNN Sunday (Aug. 13), Kaku said artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots such OpenAI’s ChatGPT will be a societal benefit and increase productivity. 

But he added that fear has led people to focus mostly on the negative implications of the technology, which he deemed “glorified tape recorders.”

“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,” Kaku said. “And people are saying, ‘Oh my God, it’s a human, it’s humanlike.’”

He told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that chatbots cannot determine true information from false: “That has to be put in by a human.”

His comments come during a period of rapid rise in AI popularity, one that — as PYMNTS wrote last week — may be causing some recency bias.

That report followed a new Purdue University study that found that ChatGPT has worse odds than a coin flip at getting coding questions right, producing incorrect answers to software programming queries 52% of the time.

“While generative AI isn’t perfect, the technology is new and continually improving,” PYMNTS wrote. “That’s where the recency bias comes in. After all, when the iPhone was first introduced, its users were consistently plagued with dropped calls, battery drainage, no apps (which were then called ‘widgets’), and other technical issues.”

Still, the iPhone succeeded in changing what connected handheld devices could offer to users, with its touchscreen replacing traditional buttons with “a dynamic field of possibility,” the report said. It also offered downloadable updates to address its faults.

AI, meanwhile, is offering users new ways to access, produce and engage with information. PYMNTS research finds that roughly 40% of executives see an urgency in adopting generative artificial intelligence, with the generative AI market projected to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2032, compared to $40 billion last year.

As for the threat posed by AI? The only real danger might be to companies that aren’t leveraging the technology themselves, Jeremiah Lotz, managing vice president, digital and data at PSCU, told PYMNTS in June.

“AI is a great way to evolve how we in financial services interact with consumers — but it’s not how we replace human interactions,” he said. “In the ideal world, it just makes everyone’s job more efficient by allowing them to focus more on high-valued areas. Human knowledge and human capital are still the most valuable thing in the room.”