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Control AI now or brace for nightmare future, experts warn

February 21, 2018 07:00AM
Control AI now or brace for nightmare future, experts warn
by Sherisse Pham
February 21, 2018: 6:58 AM ET

Rogue states, criminals and terrorists could use artificial intelligence to wreak havoc around the world, according to a new report.

More than two dozen experts from top universities and research organizations in the US and the UK wrote the alarming report about the malicious use of AI, which was published Wednesday by Cambridge University.

"For many decades hype outstripped fact in terms of AI and machine learning. No longer," said Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, a Cambridge academic who is one of the authors.

The report warns that artificial intelligence could usher in a new wave of cyberattacks in which computers use speech technology to impersonate targets or carry out "superhuman hacking" by taking control of drones, driverless vehicles or even autonomous weapons systems on the battlefield.

Some of the predictions sound like dystopian nightmares taken straight from a Hollywood movie or an episode of "Black Mirror."

The report is the latest in a series of warnings about the potential consequences of the rapid development of artificial intelligence.

Russian President Vladimir Putin predicted in September that whoever becomes the leader in AI will become the ruler of the world.

Shortly after that, Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk issued a dire warning, suggesting the race between different countries for AI superiority could cause a new world war.

Cambridge's Ó hÉigeartaigh described a somewhat less apocalyptic vision.

"We live in a world that could become fraught with day-to-day hazards from the misuse of AI," he said in a statement. "We need to take ownership of the problems -- because the risks are real."

The report, which was also backed by Musk's Open AI research institute and the Center for a New American Security, isn't all doom and gloom.

The authors acknowledge AI has many potential benefits, but they are urging governments and companies to take steps now to reduce the risks of it being misused.

Their recommendations include stepping up cybersecurity, greater collaboration between lawmakers and experts, and for AI researchers to game out scenarios in which things go wrong.

The report comes amid growing enthusiasm for AI from governments and tech executives.

China has said it wants to be a global leader in the frontier technology, vowing to build a $150 billion AI industry in the next few years. And Masayoshi Son, the billionaire CEO of Japan's SoftBank (SFTBF), has repeatedly said that singularity -- the moment when computers and artificial intelligence will surpass mankind -- is on the horizon.



  Tired of figure skating, for sure.

NewMexicoRam213February 15, 2018 06:45PM

  they made you a liar

JamesJM74February 16, 2018 03:39AM

  TV has become...

sstrams72February 16, 2018 05:27AM

  Re: they made you a liar

MamaRAMa75February 16, 2018 06:17AM

  All good points...

JamesJM71February 16, 2018 07:31AM

  Re: All good points...

MamaRAMa86February 16, 2018 08:31AM

  That was VERY well said

JamesJM64February 16, 2018 09:17AM

  I agree w/ this part

waterfield56February 16, 2018 02:25PM

  Re: I agree w/ this part

MamaRAMa94February 16, 2018 03:31PM

  Re: I agree w/ this part

21Dog68February 16, 2018 05:37PM

  This is NOT disagreement...

JamesJM60February 16, 2018 06:47PM

  my only Siri experience....

21Dog60February 17, 2018 04:14AM

  I'm a bit of an anomaly when it comes to technology..

sstrams55February 17, 2018 04:35AM

  I assume you won't be changing your $$ to digital

waterfield70February 16, 2018 07:07PM

  Control AI now or brace for nightmare future, experts warn

MamaRAMa52February 21, 2018 07:00AM

  I don't know where it's headed, the implications...

JamesJM65February 16, 2018 06:31PM

  I agree with ya there, Jimmy...

sstrams52February 17, 2018 04:45AM

  A little off topic. . . .

RAMbeau77February 16, 2018 04:33PM

  I'm going to say this aloud....

JamesJM65February 16, 2018 05:12PM