Artificial intelligence: experts outline a catastrophic scenario

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What if artificial intelligence was to fall into the wrong hands? 26 international experts in AI, robotics and cyber security broached the question, reflecting on a potentially catastrophic and spine chilling scenario! 

Recently, a report of around 100 pages entitled The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence was published by no less than 26 international experts. They wanted to raise the alert about the possibility that artificial intelligence could be used for ‘evil’ rather than ‘good’. For these experts, the ever increasing effectiveness of AI could lead in the near future to events that could pose a danger over the next decade.

The experts outlined not only one, but several catastrophic potential scenarios, including the use of AI by criminals, terrorists or even rogue states. Remember that these researchers, specialising in robotics, AI and cybersecurity, work for NGOs and large universities. In terms of the scenarios outlined, the most plausible threats relate to digital security, political security and also people’s physical safety.

We already know that there are many existing threats to cyber security, and for these experts, the increasing efficacy of artificial intelligence only serves to increase these risks. Remember that cyber attacks, which have already led to astronomical financial losses, could also attack public data uploaded by internet users.

Equally, the researchers highlighted fears that AI could be used in terrorist attacks via the modification of devices that are already in use, such as automatic cars, drones or household robots.

According to the experts, the third threat, the political threat, is the least likely, but also the most serious in terms of potential consequences. The risk relates to destabilising countries to trigger wars by rigging elections, creating very realistic fake videos or even by using propoganda techniques. What’s more, AI could be used by authoritarian or fascist states in order to increase monitoring of its citizens.

It is not all bad news in the report, which nonetheless leaves little room for optimism. In fact, the researchers believe that there is still time to act and prevent all of these problems. A call has been made on world governments and other stakeholders to take action in order to to limit the potential dangers of malicious uses of artificial intelligence.

Sources: The VergeSiècle Digital