Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, spoke at Consensus 2023 about the advancements in artificial intelligence and how it can be used for both human progress and increased surveillance.
- Snowden criticized OpenAI for its choice of name given that it does not provide open access to its training data.
- He also called out Stable Diffusion for deliberately crippling its training set from version 1.5 to 2.0 due to moral panics and other accusations.
- Snowden argued that the liability for the model created and used is distinct and cited guns in America as an example.
- He believes that AI legislation is difficult to handle as corporations and governments can easily observe the public, making them more “legible” and “malleable.” They have an advantage in the AI industry due to the large data centers they have access to about citizen behavior.
- Snowden talked about the possibility of declaring AI models to be open and warned of a kind of software communism.
- He suggested that AI developers should aim to make their machines better than humans instead of trying to teach them to learn like us.
“We’re not born human, we become human…and they can become better than human, but we have to teach them,” he concluded.
- Snowden was involved in creating the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash and expressed optimism about Bitcoin.