Rishi Sunak warns of AI risks

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned of the risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI), saying that it could make it easier to build chemical or biological weapons, spread fear, and, in a worst-case scenario, escape human control.

Sunak’s comments came ahead of a global gathering of AI experts and policymakers that he has convened next week in southern England to examine the risks of the technology. He said he hoped the participants could agree on the nature of the risks and establish a global panel to assess them.

“AI has the potential to revolutionize our world in many ways, but it is also important to be aware of the risks that it poses,” Sunak said in a speech at Bletchley Park, where Britain’s World War Two code-breakers worked. “Get this wrong, and AI could make it easier to build chemical or biological weapons. And in the most unlikely but extreme cases, there is even the risk that humanity could lose control of AI completely.”

Sunak said that Britain was committed to being a global leader in AI safety, and that the government would set up an AI safety institute to examine, evaluate, and test new types of AI. The institute will “help us to understand what each new model is capable of, exploring all the risks from social harms like bias and misinformation through to the most extreme risks,” Sunak said.

The global gathering at Bletchley Park on November 1-2 will bring together representatives of AI companies, political leaders, and experts from around the world. The agenda includes discussions on the unpredictable advances of AI and the potential for humans to lose control of it.

Sunak said that China had been invited to the summit, but he could not guarantee that a representative of the country would attend. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis are among the other confirmed guests.

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.

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