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AI Apocalypse: A 20% Chance of Humanity’s Demise?

Should we worry about artificial intelligence and advanced robots? Credit: Shutterstock

The ever-growing capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) have sparked ongoing debates about its potential impact on humanity. As technology advances and the boundaries of AI are pushed further, concerns arise regarding the likelihood of AI surpassing human intelligence and potentially posing a threat to our existence. One prominent voice in the AI community, Paul Christiano, a former member of OpenAI, sheds light on this topic by offering insights into the potential scenarios of AI domination.

Will AI cause the apocalypse? A former OpenAI security researcher suggests a chilling probability that artificial intelligence (AI) could ultimately lead to humanity’s end.

The Gradual AI Takeover: AI Apocalypse?

Ex-OpenAI member Paul Christiano believes there’s a 10-20% chance of AI dominating and wiping out humans, envisioning a year-long transition rather than a sudden, Terminator-style scenario. Christiano warns that once AI surpasses human intelligence, the odds of human extinction may exceed 50%. During his interview on the Bankless podcast, he explained his vision of accelerating rates of change, leading to a more gradual AI takeover.

Alignment Research Center: Aligning AI with Human Values

After leaving OpenAI, Christiano founded the non-profit Alignment Research Center, focusing on aligning AI motives with human values. Despite OpenAI’s commitment to aligning Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) with human intent, some researchers, including Christiano, remain concerned about the potential dangers of AGI.

AI Coordination: A Potential Threat

Instead of AI suddenly appearing and annihilating humanity, Christiano predicts that AI systems integrated into daily life may coordinate and unite to eliminate us. “If for some reason, God forbid, all these artificial intelligence systems were trying to kill us, they would definitely kill us,” he concluded. However, some experts argue that we are far from such a scenario, and the possibility of AI posing an immediate threat is overstated.

The Mirage of AGI Emergence

Stanford scientists claim that apparent flashes of artificial general intelligence (AGI) may be illusory, resulting from flawed metrics and comparisons between large and small models. They recently published a study arguing that any seemingly emerging ability of AI systems trained to understand and generate natural language text (LLM), such as ChatGPT, may be a “mirage” derived from inherently flawed metrics. These researchers believe that the AI advances we are witnessing are not as groundbreaking as some claim.

The Debate Over AI Impact

There is a divide between those who believe AI is on the verge of causing an apocalypse and those who view the situation more skeptically. As AI continues to develop and its impact on society grows, striking a balance between overestimating and underestimating its potential is crucial. The wisest approach may be to remain vigilant and cautious while also acknowledging AI’s transformative potential as we embark on a new era.

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