Friday, December 08, 2023

Playing God - The Ethical Implications of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

Two days ago, Google unveiled Gemini, a new AI model that is capable of understanding and generating text, code, audio, images, and video. Although I wouldn't categorise Gemini as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), it is a significant step towards that eventuality.

A Technical Report is available at

There is no doubt that Gemini is a powerful tool. I might even argue that it is a OpenAI killer, and the year 2024 looks like the year of Gemini, just like 2023 was dominated by OpenAI and ChatGPT,  It has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with technology. However, it is important to remember that AI is a tool, and like any tool, it can be used for good or evil. It is up to us to ensure that Gemini is used for the benefit of humanity.


Google has a set of AI Principles that guide their work. These principles state that AI should be:

  • Socially beneficial: AI should be used to benefit society as a whole, and should avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias.
  • Accountable to people: AI should be developed and used in a way that is accountable to people, and that respects their privacy and autonomy.
  • Designed for safety: AI should be designed to be safe and secure, and to avoid unintended consequences.
  • Made with fairness: AI should be developed and used in a way that is fair and unbiased, and that does not discriminate against any individual or group.
  • Built for inclusivity: AI should be developed and used in a way that is inclusive and accessible to everyone.

These principles are a good starting point, but they are not enough. We need to have open and honest conversations about the potential risks and benefits of AI, and we need to work together to develop AI that is safe, beneficial, and ethical.


A Glimpse into Gemini's Capabilities

The above video shared by Google provides a good overview of Gemini's capabilities. Although we haven't seen a general availability (GA) of these in the real world yet, it demonstrates how Gemini can be potentially used to:

  • Play games
  • Learn new things
  • Create art

The video also highlights Gemini's ability to interact with the real world through multimodal inputs and outputs. This means that Gemini can understand and respond to a variety of stimuli, including text, images, and sounds.

Overall, the video is a positive portrayal of Gemini. It shows how this powerful AI can be used for a variety of purposes, and it raises important questions about the future of AI.


The Ethical Implications of Gemini

In my view, the development of Gemini raises a number of ethical concerns.

  • The potential for bias: AI models can be biased, and this bias can be reflected in their outputs. It is important to ensure that Gemini is developed and used in a way that is fair and unbiased.
  • The potential for misuse: AI models can be used for malicious purposes. It is important to ensure that Gemini is used for good and not for evil ("Don't be evil",  used to be Google's motto in its early days, as a startup).
  • The potential for job displacement: AI models have the potential to automate many jobs. It is important to ensure that this automation does not lead to widespread unemployment.

These are just a few of the ethical concerns that need to be considered when developing and using AI models like Gemini. It is important to have open and honest conversations about these concerns, and to work together to develop AI that is safe, beneficial, and ethical.



While the potential of Gemini appears immense, its development also echoes concerns voiced by prominent figures like Elon Musk, who has repeatedly emphasized the need for careful consideration of AI ethics and potential dangers. Musk has called AI the "biggest existential threat" to humanity and advocated for proactive measures to ensure its development and deployment are guided by responsible principles. This serves as a powerful reminder that the future of AI lies not solely in its technological prowess, but in our collective ability to harness its potential for good while mitigating potential risks. By prioritizing ethical considerations and fostering open dialogue, we can ensure that AI like Gemini becomes a force for positive change and progress for generations to come.