AI Could Be Threat To Human Existence

A new study commissioned by the U.S. State Department offers a stark warning about the rapidly escalating implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the threat it poses to humanity.

According to the Daily Mail, the study, commissioned as part of a $250,000 federal contract, also calls for “defining emergency powers” for the American government’s executive branch “to respond to dangerous and fast-moving AI-related incidents” — like swarm robotics.

The Daily Mail stated that study authors, a four-person consultancy firm called Gladstone AI run by brothers Jérémie and Edouard Harris, told TIME (Magazine) that their earlier presentations on AI risks frequently were heard by government officials with no authority to act.

The new study was funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation which is specifically tasked with curbing the spread of cataclysmic new weapons.

One of the study’s top findings is that a key driver of the AI risk is an acute competitive dynamic among the frontier AI labs that are building the world’s most advanced AI systems.

“All of these labs have openly declared an intent or expectation to achieve human-level and superhuman artificial general intelligence (AGI) — a transformative technology with profound implications for democratic governance and global security — by the end of this decade or earlier.”

The study urges the Executive Branch to immediately enact these four changes to reduce catastrophic AI risk in the near term (1-3 years), while setting the conditions for successful long-term AI safeguards:

  • Create an AI Observatory (AIO) to monitor developments
  • Mandate an interim set of responsible AI development and adoption (RADA) safeguards for advanced AI systems and their developers
  • Create an interagency AI Safety Task Force (ASTF) to coordinate implementation and oversight of RADA safeguards
  • Set controls on the advanced AI supply chain to preserve U.S. government flexibility

The Gladstone study is not the first to report on the AI threat. In Nov. 2024, CBS News profiled a new study published by Stanford University’s Existential Risks Initiative Runaway that listed artificial intelligence as a primary threat to humanity.

The Daily Mail noted that one of the co-authors on the new study, an ex-Defense Department official who served as the Chief of Strategy and Policy for the Pentagon’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, has since left Gladstone to launch a super PAC devoted to the risks of AI.

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