A top advisor to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned that artificial intelligence could “kill many humans” in the next two years.
The chilling warning came from Matt Clifford, Sunak's key adviser on technology, who is actually helping the PM to set up a government AI taskforce.
Speaking to TalkTV, he said: “You can have really very dangerous threats to humans that could kill many humans, not all humans, simply from where we’d expect models to be in two years time.”
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Mr Clifford took to the airwaves to make the warning as he fears that those in charge of creating AI “don't understand” what it actually does.
And this, he agreed with the TalkTV host, was “quite terrifying”.
He explained: “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 bio weapons or to launch large-scale cyber attacks. These are bad things.
“The kind of existential risk . . . is about what happens once we effectively create a new species – an intelligence that is greater than humans.
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“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.”
Last month, Sunak held a private meeting with Sundar Pichi, the man who runs Google's parent company Alphabet.
The meeting, which also featured the bosses from OpenAI, Google DeepMind and Anthropic, aimed to discuss the challengers posted by artificial intelligence.
According to a Downing Street spokesman, they talked about “possible opportunities for industry and international collaboration on safe and responsible AI development and agreed to remain in touch on this issue.”
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