Alarmist narratives on AI detract from the existing ethical and legal risks stemming from these technologies.
The press has widely reported claims made by a Google engineer, recently placed on administrative' leave, that its AI chatbot called LaMDA has become sentient' with an ability to express and share thoughts and feelings the same way a human child would. This claim has been met with interest from the public, but also a lot of scepticism.
However, the promotion of over-hyped narratives on AI technologies is not only alarmist, it is also misleading. It carries the risk of shifting public attention away from major ethical and legal risks; framing the technology in a way that would lead to dangerous over-confidence in its reliability; and paving the way towards ethical- and legal-compliance-washing.
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