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Are AI execs worried there’s a dark future looming for AI?

Answer: Apparently so.

A photo of a robotic arm holding a skull in an eerie color scheme.
The biggest voices in AI voiced their concern over the technology’s potential dark future in a very brief statement on Tuesday: “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.” That’s it. That’s the whole statement.

The statement was signed by AI industry executives, researchers and other leaders including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, and Geoffrey Hinton, formerly of Google and known as the “Godfather of AI.” But why such a short message? A big part of it was that there is no cohesive, agreed-upon set of risks or how to approach mitigating them.

“We didn’t want to push for a very large menu of 30 potential interventions,” said Dan Hendrycks, executive director of the Center for AI Safety and one of the statement’s signatories. “When that happens, it dilutes the message.”