Advanced artificial intelligence could one day ‘kill everyone’ – and there would be nothing we could do to stop it, MPs have been warned.
Experts from Oxford University said when AI eventually becomes more intelligent than us it is likely to pose as great a threat as mankind did to the dodo.
Reaching this stage – known as superhuman AI – could be achieved by the end of the century, they told the Science and Technology Select Committee. Warning of a ‘literal arms race’ among nation-states and tech firms, Michael Osborne, professor of machine learning, called for global regulation to stop tech firms creating out-of-control systems that could end up ‘eliminating the whole human race’. The evidence was heard as part of a Government inquiry into the risks posed by AI and how it can be used in an ethical and responsible way.
However, in its first session, doctoral student Michael Cohen gave a stark warning that there were no limits to how far AI could advance. He said: ‘I think the bleak scenario is realistic because AI is attempting to bottle what makes humans special, that has led to humans completely changing the face of the Earth.
‘So if we’re able to capture that in technology then, of course, it’s going to pose just as much risk to us as we have posed to other species, the dodo is one example.’
The doomsday predictions have worrying parallels to the plot of science fiction blockbuster The Matrix, in which humanity is beholden to intelligent machines.