Fear our new robot overlords: This is why you need to take artificial intelligence seriously

There are a lot of major problems today with tangible, real-world consequences. A short list might include terrorism, U.S.-Russian relations, climate change and biodiversity loss, income inequality, health care, childhood poverty, and the homegrown threat of authoritarian populism, most notably associated with the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, Donald Trump. Yet if you’ve been paying attention to the news for the past several years, you’ve almost certainly seen articles from a wide range of news outlets about the looming danger of artificial general intelligence, or “AGI.” For example, Stephen Hawking has repeatedly expressed that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” and Elon Musk — of Tesla and SpaceX fame — has described the creation of superintelligence as “summoning the demon.” Furthermore,…


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