Tech giant Meta accused of ‘handing people template to build nuclear bomb

Tech giant Meta has been accused of handing people a "template to build a nuclear bomb" after opening up its new artificial intelligence program so anyone in the world can tinker with it.

Mark Zuckerberg’s firm has released the source code to its Llama 2 bot which it hopes will rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

That will make it "open source" allowing experts around the globe to tamper with it for their own means.

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While some experts have hailed the tech giant for making its chatbot transparent others fear Meta has created a monster that could be used for spreading disinformation and cybercrime

The company’s decision to open up a large language model to developers has exposed a schism among tech companies with labs such as OpenAI, Google DeepMind and Anthropic opposed to making AI open source due to safety concerns.

Sir Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, defended the move and tried to downplay the threat posed by the technology – even branding Llama 2 ‘quite, quite stupid’.

“My view is that the hype has somewhat run ahead of the technology,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today.

“I think a lot of the existential warnings relate to models that don’t currently exist, so-called super-intelligent, super-powerful AI models – the vision where AI develops an autonomy and agency on its own, where it can think for itself and reproduce itself.

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“The models that we’re open sourcing are far, far, far short of that. In fact, in many ways they’re quite stupid.”

But Dame Wendy Hall, co-chair of the Government’s AI review, said: “My worry about open source is how we regulate them.

“Can the industry be trusted to self-regulate or will they work with the governments to regulate?

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“It’s a bit like giving people a template to build a nuclear bomb.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she was ‘particularly concerned’ about AI chatbots due to their potential exploitation by terrorists and threat to national security.

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