Professor Stuart Russell, a computer scientist who has lead research on artificial intelligence, fears humanity might be ‘driving off a cliff’ with the rapid development of AI.
He fears the technology could too easily be exploited for use by the military in weapons, putting them under the control of AI systems.
Professor Russell, who is a researcher at the University of California in Berkeley and the Centre for the study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University, compared the development of AI to the work that was done to develop nuclear weapons.
‘The possibility of weapons was also obvious. I think there is a reasonable analogy between unlimited amounts of energy and unlimited amounts of intelligence.
‘Both seem wonderful until one thinks of the possible risks. In neither case will anyone regulate the mathematics.
‘The regulation of nuclear weapons deals with objects and materials, whereas with AI it will be a bewildering variety of software that we cannot yet describe.