Italian Defense Giant CEO Calls AI Threat A 'Stupidity,' Shows Concerns Over Humans Instead

By Thea Felicity

Mar 01, 2024 06:52 AM EST

(Photo : Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)
A photo taken on February 26, 2024 shows the logo of the ChatGPT application developed by US artificial intelligence research organization OpenAI on a smartphone screen (L) and the letters AI on a laptop screen in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.

During his interview with CNBC, the CEO of Leonardo, one of Italy's leading defense companies, Roberto Cingolani, stirred conversations by suggesting that the real threat lies not in the advancement of artificial intelligence. But in human's lack of control. 

As part of CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe," Cingolani highlighted a critical perspective that challenges conventional narratives surrounding the risks posed by AI.

Cingolani's concerns delve deep into the historical narrative of human conflict. He points out that despite millennia of civilization, humans continue to turn to wars and conflicts, thereby reflecting a fundamental lack of control over our own actions. 

In his view, the emergence of artificial intelligence, while certainly transformative, is merely a reflection of human ingenuity. It is, therefore, the human factor's capacity for errors and misjudgments that he perceives as the more significant threat.

The Italian defense giant CEO boldly claims this amid a backdrop of increasing warnings from global leaders about the potential dangers of AI, including recent statements from UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Guterres cautioned about the unintended consequences of rapid AI development, urging international cooperation to address emerging challenges.

READ NEXT: US Doctors Grappling With Burnout See AI As A Big Help In The Future

The Development of AI

Cingolani argues AI itself is neutral-it is neither inherently good nor bad. Instead, its impact is determined by human intention and application. 

As a scientist, Cingolani acknowledges technology's immense potential to benefit humanity. The possibilities seem endless, from expedited medical diagnoses to combating climate change and improving cybersecurity. Even doctors see AI as a possible help in the future in lessening their administrative tasks, as reported by VCPost.

However, not a lot of people in certain industries see AI as a help.

Earlier this year, another report from VCPost detailed how companies like Paypal will use AI to replace their employees.

As a response, Cingolani emphasizes the necessity for certain industries, like his defense company Leonardo, to fully embrace digital transformation. He advocates for a paradigm shift in defense and security, advocating for integrating AI-powered autonomous systems. 

The response from investors echoes confidence in Leonardo's strategic direction. Following Cingolani's remarks, Leonardo's stock surged by more than 4% during trading hours.

READ MORE: OpenAI Faces SEC Investigation After CEO Sam Altman Allegedly Misled Investors

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