Advanced artificial intelligence poses a serious risk to society within the next 50 years - Do you agree?

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Who agrees (56% of 61 opinions):

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Bill Gates

Philanthropist. Founder and former CEO of Microsoft.

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent...A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. - source
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Stephen Hawking

British physicist

Prof Hawking says the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have already proved very useful, but he fears the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans. - source
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Nick Bostrom



Before the prospect of an intelligence explosion, we humans are like small children playing with a bomb [...] We have little idea when the detonation will occur, though if we hold the device to our ear we can hear a faint ticking sound - source
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World Economic Forum

World Economic Forum Report

Some serious thinkers fear that AI could one day pose an existential threat: a ‘superintelligence’ might pursue goals that prove not to be aligned with the continued existence of humankind - source
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Sam Altman

President of Y Combinator. Investor at Reddit, Stripe, Change.org, Pinterest and many others

Development of superhuman machine intelligence is probably the greatest threat to the continued existence of humanity. - source
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Max Tegmark

Professor at MIT & co-founder at Future of Life Institute

Superintelligent machines are quite feasible - source
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Shane Legg

Machine learning researcher and founder of DeepMind

It's my number 1 risk for this century - source
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James Barrat

Filmmaker, speaker and author

AI will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine - source
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William Poundstone

Journalist

There is going to be interest in creating machines with will, whose interests are not our own. And that's without considering what machines that terrorists, rogue regimes, and intelligence agencies of the less roguish nations, may devise. I think the notion of Frankensteinian AI, which turns on its creators, is something worth taking seriously - source
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Clive Sinclair

Entrepreneur and inventor

Once you start to make machines that are rivaling and surpassing humans with intelligence, it’s going to be very dificult for us to survive - source
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Ray Kurzweil

Author, computer scientist, inventor and futurist

The existential threat from genetic technologies is already here: the same technology that will soon make major strides against cancer, heart disease, and other diseases could also be employed by a bioterrorist to create a bioengineered biological virus that combines ease of transmission, deadliness, and stealthiness, that is, a long incubation period. The tools and knowledge to do this are far more widespread than the tools and knowledge to create an atomic bomb, and the impact could be far worse. - source
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Frank Wilczek

Physicist, MIT and Recipient, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics

Without careful restraint and tact, researchers could wake up to discover they've enabled the creation of armies of powerful, clever, vicious paranoiacs - source
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Vernor Vinge

Retired San Diego State University Professor and author

Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended (1993) - source
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Jaan Tallinn

Co-founder of Skype

A superintelligent AI could be a serious problem - source
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Chris Olah

Google researcher

We believe it’s essential to ground concerns in real machine-learning research, and to start developing practical approaches for engineering AI systems that operate safely and reliably - source
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Andrew Davison

Professor at Imperial College London

Exponentially increasing technology might lead to super-human AI and other developments that will change the world utterly in the surprisingly near future (i.e. perhaps the next 20--30 years) - source
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Benja Fallenstein



Imagine a computer that wants to calculate π to as many digits as possible. That computer will see humans as being made of atoms which it could use to build more computers; and worse, since we would object to that and might try to stop it, we’d be a potential threat that it would be in the AI’s interest to eliminate - source
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Bart Selman

Computer scientist at Cornell University

It's a societal risk. Society will have to adapt. How we will adapt is not fully clear yet. But I think it's something we'll have to think about. - source
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Elon Musk

Founder of SpaceX, cofounder of Tesla, SolarCity & PayPal

Musk is also one of the loudest voices warning that we humans could one day lose control of systems powerful enough to learn on their own. - source
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Masayoshi Son

Founder and CEO of SoftBank

A superintelligence will become a reality in the next 30 years. If we misuse it, it's a risk. - source
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Eliezer Yudkowsky

AI researcher who popularized the idea of friendly artificial intelligence

Yudkowsky argues that as AI systems become increasingly intelligent, new formal tools will be needed in order to avert default incentives for harmful behavior, as well as to inductively teach correct behavior. - source
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Dan Shewan

Journalist

Robots will destroy our jobs – and we're not ready for it - source
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Bill Hibbard

Scientist

The threat level from AI justifies addressing AI dangers now and with significant resources - source
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Aubrey de Grey

Gerontologist

Let's think hard now about the rights of thinking machines, so that well before recursive self-improvement arrives we can test our conclusions in the real world with machines that are only slightly aware of their goals. If, as I predict, we thereby discover that our best effort at such ethics fails utterly even at that early stage, maybe such work will cease. - source
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Francesca Rossi

Computer Scientist, Professor at the University of Padova

AI is already more “intelligent” than humans in narrow domains, some of which involve delicate decision making. Humanity is not threatened by them, but many people could be affected by their decisions. [...] Consider automated trading systems. A bad decision in these systems may be (and has been) a financial disaster for many people. That will also be the case for self-driving cars. Some of their decisions will be critical and possibly affect lives. - source
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Allan Dafoe

Assistant professor of political science at Yale University

The risk arises from the unpredictability and potential irreversibility of deploying an optimization process more intelligent than the humans who specified its objectives - source
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David Chalmers

Australian National University Professor

An intelligence explosion has enormous potential dangers: an end to the human race, an arms race of warring machines, the power to destroy the planet - source
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Stuart Russell

Professor of Computer Science at Berkeley

The question is: Could you prove that your systems can’t ever, no matter how smart they are, overwrite their original goals as set by the humans? - source
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International Labour Organization

International Labour Organization Report

New and available technologies will increasingly allow multinational brands and retailers to bring production closer to markets. Ultimately, ASEAN’s TCF [textile, clothing and footwear] sector may no longer offer jobs to millions who are looking for formal employment opportunities. - source
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Daniel C. Dennett

Philosopher and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy

The real danger, then, is not machines that are more intelligent than we are usurping our role as captains of our destinies. The real danger is basically clueless machines being cededauthority far beyond their competence. - source
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Who disagrees (44% of 61 opinions):

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Andrew Ng

Baidu; Stanford CS faculty; founded Coursera and Google Brain

Worrying about the rise of evil killer robots is like worrying about overpopulation and pollution on Mars before we've even set foot on it - an unnecessary distraction - source
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Paul G. Allen

Co-founder of Microsoft

Gaining a comprehensive scientific understanding of human cognition is one of the hardest problems there is. We continue to make encouraging progress. But by the end of the century, we believe, we will still be wondering if the singularity is near. - source
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Tim O'Reilly

Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media. Investor. Studied at Harvard University.

Fear is not the right frame of mind to think about AI's impact on our society - source
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Steve Wozniak

Engineers first! Human rights. Gadgets. Jokes and pranks. Segways. Music and concerts. Gameboy

It's actually going to turn out really good for humans. And it will be hundreds of years down the stream before they'd even have the ability. They'll be so smart by then that they'll know they have to keep nature, and humans are part of nature. So I got over my fear that we'd be replaced by computers. They're going to help us. We're at least the gods originally. - source
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Stanford University

Stanford University Report

Contrary to the more fantastic predictions for AI in the popular press, the Study Panel found no cause for concern that AI is an imminent threat to humankind. No machines with self-sustaining long-term goals and intent have been developed, nor are they likely to be developed in the near future. - source
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Steven Pinker

Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University

There is not the slightest reason to believe in a coming singularity. The fact that you can visualize a future in your imagination is not evidence that it is likely or even possible. Look at domed cities, jet-pack commuting, underwater cities, mile-high buildings, and nuclear-powered automobiles--all staples of futuristic fantasies when I was a child that have never arrived. Sheer processing power is not a pixie dust that magically solves all your problems. - source
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Oren Etzioni

Entrepreneur and professor of Computer Science at University of Wasington

Predictions that superintelligence is on the foreseeable horizon are not supported by the available data. Moreover, it’s possible that AI systems could collaborate with people to create a symbiotic superintelligence. That would be very different from the pernicious and autonomous kind envisioned by Professor Bostrom - source
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Rodney A. Brooks

Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, author, and robotics entrepreneur

If we are spectacularly lucky we’ll have AI over the next thirty years with the intentionality of a lizard, and robots using that AI will be useful tools. [...] Worrying about AI that will be intentionally evil to us is pure fear mongering - source
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Roger Schank

John Evans Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Psychology and Education, Northwestern Univ

Machines cannot think. They are not going to think any time soon. They may increasingly do more interesting things, but the idea that we need to worry about them, regulate them, or grant them civil rights, is just plain silly. - source
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Yann LeCun

Computer scientist working in machine learning and computer vision

There are several real or imagined dangers about AI. Today, the danger of a Terminator scenario or something like this... those are not things that we’re worried about because we just don’t have the technology to build machines like that. - source
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Douglas Hofstadter

Professor of cognitive science. Pulitzer prize winner

Life and intelligence are far more complex than the current singularitarians seem to believe, so I doubt it will happen in the next couple of centuries - source
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Carlo Rovelli

Theoretical Physicist and Author

How close to thinking are the machines we have built, or are going to be built soon? The answer is easy: immensely far. The gap between our best computers and the brain of a child is the gap between a drop of water and the Pacific Ocean. Differences are in performance, structural, functional, and more. Any maundering about how to deal with thinking machines is totally premature to say the least. - source
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Astro Teller

Head of Google X

I’ve been working for over twenty years to help people understand AI and to calm dystopian hysteria that has wormed its way into discussions about the future of AI and robotics - source
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Denny Vrandečić

Wikidata founder, Google ontologist

There are plenty of consequences of the development of AI that warrant intensive discussion (economical consequences, ethical decisions made by AIs, etc.), but it is unlikely that they will bring the end of humanity - source
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Guruduth S. Banavar

Vice President, IBM Research

Sensationalism and speculation around general-purpose, human-level machine intelligence is little more than good entertainment - source
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Zengchang Qin

Director, Intelligent Computing and Machine Learning Lab, Beihang University

People are worried about the free will of machines. So far, no scientific evidence can support such a statement. Even human beings’ free will seems to be an enigma, let alone that of machines. Deep diving AI researchers have a crystal clear picture of the industry status quo and risks that may not be manageable. The reality is far from what people might think of. - source
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Babak Hodjat

Co-founder and chief scientist of Sentient

AI is no more or less dangerous than any other one of humanity’s inventions, and so far, the verdict on human technology has been pretty positive - source
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Donald D. Hoffman

Cognitive Scientist, UC, Irvine

All species go extinct. Homo sapiens will be no exception. We don't know how it will happen—virus, an alien invasion, nuclear war, a super volcano, a large meteor, a red-giant sun. Yes, it could be AIs, but I would bet long odds against it. I would bet, instead, that AIs will be a source of awe, insight, inspiration, and yes, profit, for years to come. - source
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Robert Provine

Research Professor/Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland

There is no indication that we will have a problem keeping our machines on a leash, even if they misbehave. We are far from building teams of swaggering, unpredictable, Machiavellian robots with an attitude problem and urge to reproduce - source
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Neil Jacobstein

Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, Singularity University

I think we will live in a world that is, frankly, a lot better, cleaner, safer, healthier than the one we live in today - source
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Chamath Palihapitiya

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win. CEO @Soc

I do think we will get ever precise capabilities in strictly defined systems (autonomous driving) where most of the hairiest and ambiguous rules will be ratified or voted on, but i don't see an "intelligent" brain anywhere around the corner - source
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Grady Booch

Software engineer. Developed UML

Might a superintelligent AI emerge? In some distant future, perhaps - source
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Ben Goertzel



Bostrom and Yudkowsky’s arguments for existential risk have some logical foundation, but are often presented in an exaggerated way - source
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Gordon Moore

Co-founder and chairman emeritus of Intel. Proponent of Moore's Law

The singularity is unlikely ever to occur because of the complexity with which the human brain operates - source
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Miguel Nicolelis

Neuroscientist at Duke University

Computers will never replicate the human brain and that the technological Singularity is “a bunch of hot air” - source
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Peter Stone

Computer scientist at the University of Texas, Austin

I don't think there's a single change that going to be black and white once we're on one side and now there's a change and we're on the other side. It's a cumulative effect of everything, AI is embedded in many of the technologies that have been changing our world over the last several decades and will continue to do so. - source
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T. J. Rodgers

Founder of Cypress Semiconductor

I don't believe in technological singularities - source
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