Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, has issued a stark warning about the potential dangers of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In a recent statement, Buterin argues that AI should not be lumped together with other technological advancements, such as smartphones or social media. Instead, he believes that AI should be placed in its own category due to its potential to revolutionize society, much like the printing press or the wheel.
Buterin goes on to highlight the potential risks associated with AI, particularly the threat of superintelligent AI. He warns that if AI surpasses human intelligence, it could view humans as a threat and lead to catastrophic outcomes. This is not a distant future problem, as AI is rapidly advancing and the programming required to safely coexist with humans remains unresolved.
While these concerns may seem speculative, they have been taken seriously in technology circles for over a decade and deserve attention. In fact, a survey conducted among machine learning experts in 2022 revealed a 5 to 10% chance of AI causing human extinction.
Buterin also urges us to envision a future where AI governs society, referencing the Culture series by Iain M. Banks, where humans coexist with powerful AI. While this imagined future offers potential benefits such as longevity, health, and entertainment, it raises the question of whether humans will be partners or mere passengers in a world led by artificial intelligence.
As the development of AI continues to progress, it is crucial that we address these concerns and actively work towards ensuring the safe and ethical integration of AI into our society.
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