Scientists say Artificial Intelligence threat more urgent than climate change

Edited by Ed Newman
2023-05-06 22:54:32


Washington, May 7 (RHC)-- Leading scientists in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have raised the alarm about the imminent threat posed to human existence by the unchecked advancements of AI.  

Geoffrey Hinton, widely known as one of the "godfathers of AI" warned in an interview on Friday that AI posed a greater threat than the much-talked-about dangers of climate change.  "I wouldn't like to devalue climate change.  I wouldn't like to say, 'You shouldn't worry about climate change.'  That's a huge risk too," the award-winning scientist said.  "But I think this might end up being more urgent."

Hinton, who recently announced he had quit AI tech giant Alphabet (Google), added: "With climate change, it's very easy to recommend what you should do: you just stop burning carbon.  If you do that, eventually things will be okay.  For this, it's not at all clear what you should do."

Hinton is among a growing number of tech leaders who are publicly espousing concern about the dangers possibly posed by AI if machines were to achieve greater intelligence than humans and use their power to control or eliminate other beings on the planet.  He called for massive efforts to research AI's existential threat to humanity.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk is another one of the tech leaders sounding the alarm about AI machines being more powerful than humans.  He joined thousands in signing an open letter in April, calling for a six-month pause in the development of advanced AI systems.  Back in 2015, Musk and thousands of other high-profile experts had called for the banning of “killer robots.”  

Researchers at Alphabet-owned DeepMind, in addition to two other prominent AI scientists Yoshua Bengio and Stuart Russell, have voiced their concerns as well, warning that better AI may prove to be an existential threat to mankind.

In this regard, U.S. President Joe Biden has held talks with a number of AI tech leaders, including Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman at the White House, conveying to them the urgency to be more transparent about the advanced AI systems developed in their companies and what impact they might have upon human existence.

“The tech leaders have the best understanding of it, and the politicians have to be involved,” said Hinton. “It affects us all, so we all have to think about it.”


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