Expert says there's a 50% chance AI will wipe out humanity

Expert says there’s a 50% chance AI will wipe out humanity – and we won’t know how or when it will happen because the machines will be ‘much smarter than us’

  • Professor Max Tegmark has drawn parallels with the demise of extinct species 
  • He is one of the signatories of a statement against AI published earlier this week  

If you’re not scared of artificial intelligence (AI) yet, an expert thinks there’s a 50 per cent chance it will wipe out humanity. 

Max Tegmark, a physicist and AI expert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has given a deeply worrying prediction about our future on this planet. 

According to the academic, history has shown that Earth’s smartest species – humans – are responsible for the death of ‘lesser’ species, such as the Dodo. 

Therefore, if and when AI becomes smarter than humans, the same fate could easily await us, he warns. 

What’s more, we won’t know when our demise at the hands of AI will occur, because a less intelligent species has no way of knowing. 

Top scientists think that in the near future, AI could be used to create autonomous weapons or robots that could kill – with or without human intervention (file photo)

Professor Tegmark made the bleak remarks during an interview in his native Swedish by the national broadcaster SVT.

READ MORE: How will humanity die out? Here’s 10 scenarios 

The rise of killer robots could possibly end life as we know it 

‘About half of all other species on earth have already been exterminated by us humans,’ he said. 

‘Because we were smarter, they had no control.

‘What we are warning about now is that if we humans lose control over our society to machines that are much smarter than us, then things can go just as bad for us.’ 

Professor Tegmark is one of the signatories of a single-sentence statement published this week that warns of the risk of extinction from AI. 

The statement reads: ‘Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.’ 

Some of the world’s top scientists think that in the near future, AI could be used to create autonomous weapons or robots that could kill – with or without human intervention. 

But even seemingly benign AI software could make decisions that could be fatal to humans if the tech is not programmed with enough care. 

Back in 2018, Professor Tegmark warned that humans could one day become enslaved by the intelligent machines they create. 

Max Tegmark (pictured) is a physicist and AI expert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

He even claimed at the time that some of his colleagues may welcome the extinction of the species by AI, viewing them as our natural descendants. 

Another viewpoint is keeping the form of ‘super intelligence’ under human control ‘like an enslaved dog’.

‘But you might worry that maybe we humans just aren’t smart enough to handle that much power,’ he said during a TED talk. 

‘Also aside from any moral qualms you might have about enslaving superior minds, you should be more worried that maybe the superintelligence could outsmart us.

‘They could break-out and take over.’

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is one of the most prominent names and faces in developing technologies and incredibly outspoken when it comes to the powers of AI.   

In March, Musk and 1,000 other technology leaders called for a pause on the ‘dangerous race’ to develop AI, which they fear poses a ‘profound risk to society and humanity’ and could have ‘catastrophic’ effects.

Musk has long been vocal about his fears that the technology will become so advanced, that it will no longer require – or even listen to – human interference.

The South African-born entrepreneur has already called AI ‘much more dangerous than nukes’ and ‘more risk than North Korea’. 


Musk has been a long-standing, and very vocal, condemner of AI technology and the precautions humans should take 

Elon Musk is one of the most prominent names and faces in developing technologies. 

The billionaire entrepreneur heads up SpaceX, Tesla and the Boring company. 

But while he is on the forefront of creating AI technologies, he is also acutely aware of its dangers. 

Here is a comprehensive timeline of all Musk’s premonitions, thoughts and warnings about AI, so far.   

August 2014 – ‘We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.’ 

October 2014 – ‘I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence.’

October 2014 – ‘With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.’ 

June 2016 – ‘The benign situation with ultra-intelligent AI is that we would be so far below in intelligence we’d be like a pet, or a house cat.’

July 2017 – ‘I think AI is something that is risky at the civilisation level, not merely at the individual risk level, and that’s why it really demands a lot of safety research.’ 

July 2017 – ‘I have exposure to the very most cutting-edge AI and I think people should be really concerned about it.’

July 2017 – ‘I keep sounding the alarm bell but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal.’

August 2017 –  ‘If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea.’

November 2017 – ‘Maybe there’s a five to 10 percent chance of success [of making AI safe].’

March 2018 – ‘AI is much more dangerous than nukes. So why do we have no regulatory oversight?’ 

April 2018 – ‘[AI is] a very important subject. It’s going to affect our lives in ways we can’t even imagine right now.’

April 2018 – ‘[We could create] an immortal dictator from which we would never escape.’ 

November 2018 – ‘Maybe AI will make me follow it, laugh like a demon & say who’s the pet now.’

September 2019 – ‘If advanced AI (beyond basic bots) hasn’t been applied to manipulate social media, it won’t be long before it is.’

February 2020 – ‘At Tesla, using AI to solve self-driving isn’t just icing on the cake, it the cake.’

July 2020 – ‘We’re headed toward a situation where AI is vastly smarter than humans and I think that time frame is less than five years from now. But that doesn’t mean that everything goes to hell in five years. It just means that things get unstable or weird.’ 

April 2021: ‘A major part of real-world AI has to be solved to make unsupervised, generalized full self-driving work.’

February 2022: ‘We have to solve a huge part of AI just to make cars drive themselves.’ 

December 2022: ‘The danger of training AI to be woke – in other words, lie – is deadly.’ 

Source: Read Full Article

Previous post Danzig Announce U.S. Tour In Celebration Of 35th Anniversary Of Debut Album
Next post Why Fair Work’s wage decision reveals Australia’s biggest economic shortcoming