Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are on track to become powerful enough to ”kill many humans” within just two years, an adviser to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned, Independent reported.
Notably, Matt Clifford is currently leading the prime minister on the government’s Foundation Model Taskforce which focuses on investigating AI language models such as ChatGPT and Google Bard. He is also chairman of the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (Aria).
Mr. Clifford, during a TalkTV interview, said that AI has the potential to create cyber and biological weapons that could inflict many deaths. He further warned that unless AI producers are regulated on a global scale then there could be “very powerful” systems that humans could struggle to control.
”I think there are lots of different types of risks with AI and often in the industry we talk about near-term and long-term risks, and the near-term risks are actually pretty scary. You can use AI today to create new recipes for bioweapons or to launch large-scale cyber attacks. These are bad things,” Mr. Clifford told TalkTV.
”The kind of existential risk that I think the letter writers were talking about – what happens once we effectively create a new species, you know an intelligence that is greater than humans,” he added.
His comments come after a letter backed by dozens of experts, warned that the risks of the technology should be treated with the same urgency as pandemics or nuclear war.
Asked what percentage chance he would give that humanity could be wiped out by AI, Mr Clifford said: ”I think it is not zero.”
He further said, ”If we try and create artificial intelligence that is more intelligent than humans and we don’t know how to control it, then that’s going to create a potential for all sorts of risks now and in the future – it’s right that it should be very high on the policymakers’ agendas.”
However, he also said that AI, if harnessed in the right way, could be a force for good.
Such concerns have also been shared by countless experts in the field. Recently, Emad Mostaque, founder of the tech firm, Stability AI, also warned that AI could become far more capable than us and ultimately control humanity.
Recently, a computer scientist often dubbed “the godfather of artificial intelligence” quit his job at Google to speak out about the dangers of AI technology. He said that the advancements made in the field posed “profound risks to society and humanity”.
In March, tech billionaire Elon Musk and a range of experts called for a pause in the development of AI systems to allow time to make sure they are safe.
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