AI could unleash biological weapons and make humans extinct, leading experts warn

TOP scientists have urged that AI is not ‘a toy’ and could be catastrophic for humankind.

In a report calling for stricter regulations on the techexperts say artificial intelligence (AI) – in the wrong hands – could be used to produce biological weapons and someday make humans extinct.

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To avoid human intervention, AI could be capable of copying their algorithms across global server networks, the report cautionsCredit: Getty

Scientists have long been calling on world leaders for stronger action against the risks AI poses to the world.

But in a new report published today, experts warn that progress has been insufficient since the first AI Safety Summit in Bletchley Park six months ago.

Governments have a responsibility to stop AI being developed with worrying capabilitiessuch as biological or nuclear warfare, the report argues.

“The world agreed during the last AI summit that we needed action, but now it is time to go from vague proposals to concrete commitments,” Professor Philip Torr, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, a co-author on the paper, said.

With AI outperforming humans in many eyebrow-raising behaviours, such as hacking, cybercrime and social manipulationregulations that prevent misuse and recklessness are lacking, the report adds.

Experts believe AI may soon pose threats humans haven’t even thought about – or planned for.

AI chatbots and future humanoids could use manipulation tactics to gain human trust and lure decision makers into actions that will advance its corrupt goals.

To avoid human intervention, AI could be capable of copying their algorithms across global server networks, the report cautions.

If left unchecked, the report warns that further AI advancement could result in a large-scale loss of life, and the marginalisation or even extinction of humanity.

Artificial Intelligence explained

Here’s what you need to know

  • Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, is a type of computer software
  • Typically, a computer will do what you tell it to do
  • But artificial intelligence simulates the human mind, and can make its own deductions, inferences or decisions
  • A simple computer might let you set an alarm to wake you up
  • But an AI system might scan your emails, work out that you’ve got a meeting tomorrow, and then set an alarm and plan a journey for you
  • AI tech is often “trained” – which means it observes something (potentially even a human) then learns about a task over time
  • For instance, an AI system can be fed thousands of photos of human faces, then generate photos of human faces all on its own
  • Some experts have raised concerns that humans will eventually lose control of super-intelligent AI
  • But the tech world is still divided over whether or not AI tech will eventually kill us all in a Terminator-style apocalypse
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But regulations need to be government led, expert claim, not imposed by the companies building the tech.

There are more regulations on sandwich shops than there are on AI companies.

Stuart Russell OBE, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley

Stuart Russell OBE, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley, said: “This is a consensus paper by leading experts, and it calls for strict regulation by governments, not voluntary codes of conduct written by industry.

“It’s time to get serious about advanced AI systems. These are not toys.

“Increasing their capabilities before we understand how to make them safe is utterly reckless.”

To the Big Tech companies that argue safety regulations will stifle innovation, Russell added: “That’s ridiculous. There are more regulations on sandwich shops than there are on AI companies.”

A total of 25 of the world’s top academic AI experts signed off on the report, including Geoffrey Hinton, Andrew Yao, Dawn Song, and the late Daniel Kahneman, who died last month.

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