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Nobel laureate Dr Michael Levitt: AI will change everything forever

The decorated and respected scientist, an early adopter of ChatGPT and other AI technologies, reveals whether the rapid emergence of ever-more powerful machine learning tools will ultimately help or harm humanity as it changes our world beyond recognition
Professor Michael Levitt
Professor Michael Levitt

Professor Michael Levitt is a biophysicist and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2013. He has been professor of structural biology at Stanford University since 1987. He holds South African, American, British and Israeli citizenship. He lives in California. Follow him on X. Visit the Michael Levitt Lab.

Dr Michael Levitt: AI will impact every part of your life

Calculators. Computers. The internet. Smartphones. Each generation alive today has experienced a previously-unimaginable technological leap forward that has fundamentally changed every aspect of how we live our lives.

Yet nothing stands to alter the course of human history more than the next giant leap forward: artificial intelligence.

Since late 2021 AI has stormed into the public consciousness, primarily through the seemingly sudden release of ChatGPT, a large language model that astonished those who used it by the human-like ability to accurately answer any question it was asked.

But this early version, which has since been surpassed by far more capable versions, provides us with only the faintest glimpse of how AI is going to change almost everything about our daily lives in ways we can not yet even imagine.

For Professor Michael Levitt, a biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2013 for work he did in the 1970s on molecular dynamics simulations of DNA and proteins, we are only just beginning to grasp the implications of a world in which AI is doing everything, everywhere, all at once.

So is one of the forefathers of advanced computational processing power excited by this brave new world on our doorstep? Or is he sounding the alarm for caution and a need to slow down or risk opening a Pandora’s box of exponential and irreversible societal and economic change?

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