Checklist of worst-case scenarios could help prepare for evil AI

Don’t wait for it to go bad Erik Tham/Getty By Chris Baraniuk Artificial intelligence – what’s the worst that can happen? For Roman Yampolskiy, a computer scientist at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, the sky’s the limit. Working with hacktivist and entrepreneur Federico Pistono, he has come up with a set of worst-case scenarios for a potential malevolent AI, from “enslaving mankind” to “destroying the universe”. Yampolskiy argues that anticipating as many negative outcomes as possible – just as cybersecurity researchers do when looking for vulnerabilities – will help us guard against disaster. “The standard framework in AI thinking has always been to propose new safety mechanisms,” he says. But looking at the issue with a cybersecurity mindset puts a different spin on things: starting with a list of…


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