This piece was originally published in Politico.
Worries about artificial intelligence have suddenly seized Washington: The White House just hauled in a roster of tech CEO’s to press them on the safety of their new AI platforms, and Congress is scrambling for ways to regulate a possibly disruptive and risky new technology.
There are a lot of immediate concerns about the latest generation of AI tools — they could accelerate misinformation, job disruption and hidden unfairness. But one concern hovers over the rest, both for its scale and the difficulty of fixing it: the idea that a super-intelligent machine might quickly start working against its human creators.
It sounds fanciful, but many experts on global risk believe that a powerful, uncontrolled AI is the single most likely way humanity could wipe itself out.