LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman says he is 'beating the positive drum very loudly' for AI as other tech execs express concerns
The billionaire tech investor has said in recent interviews he believes the benefits of artificial intelligence will continue to outweigh the costs.
- LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman said he will continue to be positive about the benefits he sees in AI.
- Hoffman is part of venture capital firm, Greylock Partners, which has invested in dozens of AI companies.
- He told the New York Times in a recent interview that concerns from other tech executives like Elon Musk are overblown.
LinkedIn co-founder and billionaire tech investor Reid Hoffman is maintaining a positive outlook on artificial intelligence and his belief that its benefits will outweigh the costs, even as some tech execs voice concerns about the risks.
"I'm beating the positive drum very loudly, and I'm doing so deliberately," Hoffman recently told the New York Times.
Hoffman and his venture capital firm, Greylock Partners, have invested in dozens of AI companies, as much of the tech and investing industry have become enamored with the tech since the release of OpenAI's popular ChatGPT.
He has remained optimistic about AI during recent interviews, and said he believes the technology can benefit humanity, adding he feels comments expressing concern from notable figures — including Elon Musk, ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and even OpenAI's Sam Altman — risks are exaggerated.
Schmidt recently voiced apprehension that AI could be used by people with bad intentions to hurt or kill people, while Musk said the tech could be so powerful that it could effectively control humanity, joining thousands who signed a letter earlier this year calling for a pause on development of AI.
Hoffman and others criticized Musk's involvement, claming the Tesla and Twitter CEO's desire to slow AI efforts is part of an effort for his companies to catch up.
"I think Elon very genuinely cares very deeply about humanity. But he tends to be a 'solopreneur'... Hoffman told the Washington Post earlier this month. "... I think Elon is very genuine, but he tends to go the 'I am the person that can make it happen,' versus 'we should bring in a collaborative group.'
However, Hoffman acknowledged the adoption of AI will create some issues like potential job loss and misinformation.
"There will be some jobs that will disappear and navigating all that's really important, both as CEOs and as societies..." Hoffman recently told Fortune. "But AI can be part of the solution. How do you reskill people? How do you help match them to other jobs? How do you give him superpowers to do other jobs? Well, AI is an answer on all three of those things."
According to the Times, Hoffman met with Altman and Musk, who was involved in the founding of OpenAI and has since left the company, in 2015 when the company was founded. Hoffman said he later encouraged Altman to meet with Microsoft, who has since invested billions into the ChatGPT creator.
Around a year ago, Hoffman said he saw how capable a version of ChatGPT was prior to its release last November, and knew he needed to turn his focus to investing in AI companies, speaking with politicians about the coming technology, and educating the public.
Hoffman told the Times he believes many of the current problems with AI, like its tendency to produce incorrect information, will soon be solved as the models are tested more and exposed to more information, giving them a larger knowledge base to draw from. He also acknolwedges that the possibility of misinformation is especially dangerous just over a year ahead of a presidential election.
"Obviously we need to be attuned to the possibilities of deepfakes ... I think what's going to play out with that is I think something we have to be quite careful about," Hoffman told the Post.
He added that he thinks public fear that AI could control or destroy humanity, as documented in recent surveys, are overblown.
Overall, he said he believes the potential for people to have access to personal health assistants or for children to have an AI tutor overwhelmingly outweighs the possible jobs lost or economic impact, because it will eventually lead to a better world.
"I'm a tech optimist, not a tech utopian" Hoffman told the Times, noting AI advancements will come at a cost and no system will ever be perfect.