Artificial intelligence and nanotechnology have been named alongside nuclear war, ecological catastrophe and super-volcano eruptions as “risks that threaten human civilisation” in a report by the Global Challenges Foundation.
In the case of AI, the report suggests that future machines and software with “human-level intelligence” could create new, dangerous challenges for humanity – although they could also help to combat many of the other risks cited in the report.
“Such extreme intelligences could not easily be controlled (either by the groups creating them, or by some international regulatory regime), and would probably act to boost their own intelligence and acquire maximal resources for almost all initial AI motivations,” suggest authors Dennis Pamlin and Stuart Armstrong.“And if these motivations do not detail the survival and value of humanity, the intelligence will be driven to construct a world without humans. This makes extremely intelligent AIs a unique risk, in that extinction is more likely than lesser impacts.”
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