AI CEOs and Experts Warn of Extinction Risk Form AI

Experts and professors, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and top AI executives raised the “risk of extinction from AI” on Tuesday. They asked lawmakers to put it on the same level as the risks of pandemics and nuclear war.

In a letter released by the nonprofit Center for AI Safety (CAIS), more than 350 people wrote that reducing the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority, along with preventing pandemics and nuclear war.

They included Altman and the CEOs of AI companies DeepMind and Anthropic, as well as officials from Microsoft and Google.

Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio, two of the three “godfathers of AI” who won the 2018 Turing Award for their work on deep learning, were also there. So were teachers from universities like Harvard and Tsinghua University in China.

In a statement, CAIS said that Yann LeCun, the third “godfather” of AI, doesn’t work at Meta, which didn’t sign the letter.

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The message came at the same time as a meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council in Sweden. At that meeting, politicians are expected to talk about how to regulate AI.

In April, Elon Musk and a group of AI experts and business leaders were the first to talk about possible risks to society.

Recent advances in AI have led to the creation of tools that supporters say can be used for everything from diagnosing medical conditions to writing legal briefs. However, this has caused people to worry that the technology could lead to privacy issues, be used to spread false information and cause problems with “smart machines” that think for themselves.

Hinton, who was one of the first people to work on AI, told Reuters that AI could be a “more urgent” threat to humanity than climate change.

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Last week, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said that EU AI, the first attempt to make rules for AI, was too much control and said that his company might leave Europe. After lawmakers criticized him, he changed his mind in just a few days.

Altman will meet with Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission, on Thursday.

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