Extinction risk from AI on same scale as nuclear war, Sunak warns

Rishi Sunak believes that mitigating the risk of human extinction due to artificial intelligence (AI) should be a global priority, comparable to pandemics and nuclear war.

A new analysis by the Sunak government warns that AI will pose significant security risks to the UK within two years and has the potential to “enhance” terrorist capabilities.

The report suggests that AI could assist terror groups in propaganda, bioweapons, and attack planning, increasing their capabilities. The Government Office for Science also highlights that by 2025, AI is expected to lead to a rise in cyber-attacks, scams, fraud, and other crimes.

Speaking at the Royal Society, Mr. Sunak compared the impact of AI to that of the industrial revolution, electricity, and the internet.

The Prime Minister agrees with experts who propose treating the risk of extinction from AI on the same level as pandemics and nuclear war, and has called for a global expert panel to address the issue.

In a press conference, Mr. Sunak emphasized that while AI offers the chance to solve complex problems, it also brings new dangers and fears.

Additionally, the PM announced the establishment of the world’s first AI institute in the UK, stating that the country is doing more than any other to ensure public safety.

Quoting a statement from hundreds of AI experts, he said, “Mitigating the risk of extinction by AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

Rishi Sunak delivers a speech on AI at the Royal Society


Highlighting the risks of AI, the PM warns that if AI is not handled correctly, it could make it easier to develop chemical or biological weapons. It could also be exploited by criminals for cyber attacks, fraud, and child sexual abuse.

However, Mr. Sunak also acknowledges the benefits of AI, especially in healthcare, where it can be used for diagnosis and prevention of diseases.

Notably, the UK has invited China to its global AI summit at Bletchley Park to discuss the threats and opportunities posed by AI.

Furthermore, the UK government’s report reveals that AI could lead to faster and more effective cyber-attacks, as well as the spread of fake videos, fake news, and disinformation.

The report also warns of the potential for AI to disrupt the job market and suggests the implementation of a “robot tax” to protect the economy.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan highlights the importance of addressing the risks associated with AI while recognizing its transformative potential.


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