Science & Tech

'Small chance' AI will wipe out humanity, biggest ever survey of scientists finds

'Small chance' AI will wipe out humanity, biggest ever survey of scientists finds
Anticipating a leap in Artificial Intelligence progress in 2024
Fox - 26 Houston / VideoElephant

There's been a lot of talk over the last year about the implications of artificial intelligence.

Some people think it will make your job easier, others think it will wipe out humanity. If you're confused, that's because everybody is.

Now, the largest ever survey of AI scientists has found more than half of them think there is a chance – albeit a slim one – that the technology could have apocalyptic results.

The research polled 2,700 experts who have recently published work at six of the top AI conferences in the world.

It found that 58 per cent thought there was a "non-trivial" chance – classed as a five per cent chance – that AI could cause human extinction.

Katja Grace, from the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in California, and an author of the paper, told the New Scientist: "It’s an important signal that most AI researchers don’t find it strongly implausible that advanced AI destroys humanity.

"I think this general belief in a non-minuscule risk is much more telling than the exact percentage risk."

Of course, you could look on the bright side: clearly, these scientists don't think it's a dead certainty.

If there's only a one-in-20 chance of such an event happening, that means we're more than likely to make it out alive.

Plus, the scientists also think AI will do good things. The researchers predicted that in the next decade, AI systems have a 50 per cent or higher chance of successfully tackling most of 39 sample tasks.

That includes including writing new songs indistinguishable from a Taylor Swift banger or coding an entire payment processing site from scratch.

Meanwhile, they said there is a 50 per cent chance that AI will be able to outperform humans on every singe task by 2047.

The chances of all human jobs becoming fully automatic with AI was given a 50 per cent chance of happening by 2116.

Sounds like we've all got plenty more early mornings working, in that case.

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