The rapid development of AI has benefits — and poses serious risks

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Investing in AI safety could help ward off a big threat to humanity. 

In the past decade, the AI revolution has kicked into high gear.

Artificial intelligence is playing strategy games, writing news articles, folding proteins, and teaching grandmasters new moves in Go. AI systems determine what you’ll see in a Google search or in your Facebook Newsfeed. They are being developed to improve drone targeting and detect missiles.

But there’s another way the field of artificial intelligence has been transformed in the past 10 years: Concerns about the societal effects of artificial intelligence are now being taken much more seriously.

There are many possible reasons for that, of course, but one driving factor is the pace of progress in AI over the past decade. Ten years ago, many people felt confident in asserting that truly advanced AI, the kind that surpasses human capabilities across many domains, was centuries away. Now, that’s not so clear, and AI systems powerful enough to raise serious ethical questions are already among us.

For a better understanding of why AI poses an increasingly significant — and potentially existential — threat to humanity, check out Future Perfect’s coverage below.


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