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This Week in AI: A Battle for Humanity or Profits?

artificial intelligence

There’s some in-fighting going on in the artificial intelligence (AI) world, and one prominent billionaire claims the future of the human race is at stake. Elon Musk is taking legal action against Microsoft-backed OpenAI and its CEO, Sam Altman, alleging the company has strayed from its original mission to develop artificial intelligence for the collective benefit of humanity.

Musk’s attorneys filed a lawsuit on Thursday (Feb. 29) in San Francisco, asserting that in 2015, Altman and Greg Brockman, co-founders of OpenAI, approached Musk to assist in establishing a nonprofit focused on advancing artificial general intelligence for the betterment of humanity.

Although Musk helped initiate OpenAI in 2015, he departed from its board in 2018. Previously, in 2014, he had voiced concerns about the risks associated with AI, suggesting it could pose more significant dangers than nuclear weapons.

The lawsuit highlights that OpenAI, Inc. still claims on its website to prioritize ensuring that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity. However, the suit contends that in reality, OpenAI, Inc. has evolved into a closed-source entity effectively operating as a subsidiary of Microsoft, the world’s largest technology company.

Companies Turn to AI for Cybersecurity 

When it comes to cybersecurity, AI brings both risks and rewards. Google CEO Sundar Pichai and other industry leaders say artificial intelligence is key to enhancing online security. AI can accelerate and streamline the management of cyber threats. It leverages vast datasets to identify patterns, automating early incident analysis and enabling security teams to quickly gain a comprehensive view of threats, thus hastening their response.

Lenovo CTO Timothy E. Bates told PYMNTS that AI-driven tools, such as machine learning for anomaly detection and AI platforms for threat intelligence, are pivotal. Deep learning technologies dissect malware to decipher its composition and potentially deconstruct attacks. These AI systems operate behind the scenes, learning from attacks to bolster defense and neutralize future threats.

With the global shift toward a connected economy, cybercrime is escalating, causing significant financial losses, including an estimated $10.3 billion in the U.S. alone in 2022, according to the FBI.

Author and AI Collaborations

Get set for lots more books that are authored or co-authored by AI. Inkitt, a startup leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to craft books, has secured $37 million. Inkitt’s app enables users to self-publish their narratives. By employing AI and data analytics, it selects stories for further development and markets them on its Galatea app.

This technological shift offers both opportunities and challenges.

Zachary Weiner, CEO of Emerging Insider Communications, which focuses on publishing, shared his insights on the impact of AI on writing with PYMNTS. “Writers gain significantly from the vast new toolkit AI provides, enhancing their creative process with AI-generated prompts and streamlining tasks like proofreading. AI helps them overcome traditional brainstorming limits, allowing for the fusion of ideas into more intricate narratives. It simplifies refining their work, letting them concentrate on their primary tasks.”

But he warns of the pitfalls AI introduces to the publishing world. “AI is making its way into all aspects of writing and content creation, posing a threat to editorial roles,” he said. “The trend towards replacing human writers with AI for cost reduction and efficiency gains is not just a possibility but a current reality.”

AI and Robotics Merge Draws Investment

The robots are coming, and they are getting smarter. New advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) are making it possible for companies to create robots with better features and improved abilities to interact with humans.

Figure AI has raised $675 million to develop AI-powered humanoid robots. Investors include Jeff Bezos’ Explore Investments and tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Nvidia, OpenAI, and Intel. Experts say this investment shows a growing interest in robotics because of AI.

According to Sarah Sebo, an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Chicago, AI can help robots understand their surroundings better, recognize objects and people more accurately, communicate more naturally with humans and improve their abilities over time through feedback.

Last March, Figure AI introduced the Figure 01 robot, designed for various tasks, from industrial work to household chores. Equipped with AI, this robot mimics human movements and interactions.

The company hopes these robots will take on risky or repetitive tasks, allowing humans to focus on more creative work.