Does your work ever leave you conflicted?

    Wondering if it is or was worth it?

    Busy people can sometimes feel that work impacts their personal life too much.

    But there are other reasons to feel conflicted.

    Yoshua Bengio is one of the so-called “Godfathers of AI” (Artificial Intelligence).  And he is seriously conflicted.  He wonders at the potential downsides to the power that he has helped unleash.  Does it pose an existential threat to the species?

    Our species has this interesting habit of coming up with stuff that threatens us.  Next month you can go to the cinema to see “Oppenheimer“.  It’ll presumably include a treatment of Oppenheimer’s concerns at the arms race caused, in part, by his involvement in the development of the atomic bomb.

    But back to Bengio.  He’s worried.  But he’s not completely consumed with despair.  In an interview with the BBC last month, he said:

    “It’s never too late to improve“.

    And he draws an analogy between AI and climate change:

    “We’ve put a lot of carbon in the atmosphere. And it would be better if we hadn’t, but let’s see what we can do now.

    You have business challenges.  Some small.  Some big.  Some perhaps intimidatingly big.

    Take a breath.

    And consider: no matter what has happened in the past, what might you still be able to do?  And do now?

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