A former Google CEO has warned that in the future artificial intelligence may be used to murder people.
A group of senior executives heard Eric Schmidt, who managed the search engine behemoth for two decades, say that he thinks AI poses an “existential risk” to humans, which he defines as “many, many, many, many people harmed or killed.”
The technology, which Google is advancing with its still-rudimentary Bard chatbot system, according to the software Ph.D., could be “misused by evil people” as it advances.
Schmidt is the most recent person to make similar assertions; he recently served as chair of the US National Security Commission on AI.
“There are scenarios not today, but reasonably soon, where these systems will be able to find zero-day exploits in cyber issues, or discover new kinds of biology,” Schmidt said before The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit in London.
So-called “zero-day exploits” are security flaws in code anywhere from personal computing to digital banking to infrastructure that have only just been discovered and thus not yet patched-up by cybersecurity teams. Zero-days are the prized tools in hackers’ arsenal.
Schmidt did not go into detail on what ‘new kinds of biology’ dreamed up by a maliciously run AI worry him most.
“Now, this is fiction today,” Schmidt cautioned, “but its reasoning is likely to be true. And when that happens, we want to be ready to know how to make sure these things are not misused by evil people.”
Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and the late Stephen Hawking are among the most famous critics of AI who believe it poses a “profound risk to society and humanity” and could have “catastrophic effects”.