Frontier AI Ethics: Anticipating and Evaluating the Societal Impacts of Generative AgentsarXiv:2404.06750v1 Announce Type: cross Abstract: Some have criticised Generative AI Systems for replicating the familiar pathologies of already widely-deployed AI systems. Other critics highlight how they foreshadow vastly more powerful future systems, which might threaten humanity’s survival. The first group says there is nothing new here; the other looks through the present to a perhaps distant horizon. In this paper, I instead pay attention to what makes these particular systems distinctive: both their remarkable scientific achievement, and the most likely and consequential ways in which they will change society over the next five to ten years. In particular, I explore the potential societal impacts and normative questions raised by the looming prospect of ‘Generative Agents’, in which multimodal large language models (LLMs) form the executive centre of complex, tool-using AI systems that can take unsupervised sequences of actions towards some goal.