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Stop worrying about an AI apocalypse, says the ‘godmother of AI’

Fei-Fei Li, renowned in the realm of computer science as the creator of ImageNet, a groundbreaking database pivotal to the advancement of artificial intelligence, is now actively engaged as an AI policy adviser to the Biden Administration and co-director of Stanford’s Human-Centered AI Institute. Despite her stature as the “godmother of AI,” she believes the widespread apprehension surrounding generative artificial intelligence technology is exaggerated.

Speaking at the Bloomberg Technology Summit, Li expressed concern about the excessive emphasis on the potential risk of human extinction posed by AI. She considers such scenarios to be more aligned with science fiction narratives rather than real-world probabilities. Instead, she advocates for directing attention towards the immediate and tangible impacts of AI technology.

While acknowledging the importance of contemplating such futuristic possibilities, Li asserts that real societal risks, such as the proliferation of disinformation and misinformation affecting democratic processes, labor market transformations, and privacy concerns, warrant more immediate attention.

Despite the prevailing narrative of AI’s ominous implications, Li remains optimistic about its potential to positively transform lives and enhance work. She believes that the positive aspects of AI are often overshadowed and advocates for amplifying the voices of those leveraging AI for societal benefit.

Appointed as a member of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force by the White House in 2021, Li actively advises policymakers on establishing frameworks to govern AI. Currently, she is reportedly involved in the development of a spatial intelligence startup aimed at leveraging human-like visual data processing to enhance AI reasoning capabilities, as per Reuters. However, Li refrained from disclosing further details about the startup during the Bloomberg Tech Summit.

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