MIT Professor Compares Ignoring AGI to “Don’t Look Up”

MIT professor and AI researcher Max Tegmark is pretty stressed out about the potential impact of artificial general intelligence (AGI) on human society. In a new essay for Time, he rings the alarm bells, painting a pretty dire picture of a future determined by an AI that can outsmart us. “Sadly, I now feel that we’re living the movie ‘Don’t Look Up’ for another existential threat: unaligned superintelligence,” Tegmark wrote, comparing what he perceives to be a lackadaisical response to a growing AGI threat to director Adam McKay’s popular climate change satire. For those who haven’t seen it, “Don’t Look Up” is a fictional story about a team of astronomers who, after discovering that a species-destroying asteroid is hurtling towards Earth, set out to warn the rest of human society. But to their surprise and frustration, a massive chunk of humanity doesn’t care. The asteroid is one big metaphor for climate change. But Tegmark thinks that the story can apply to the risk of AGI as well. “A recent survey showed that half of AI researchers give AI at least ten percent chance of causing human extinction,” the researcher continued.  “Since we have such a long history of thinking about this threat and what to do about it, from scientific conferences to Hollywood blockbusters, you might expect that humanity would shift into high gear with a mission to steer AI in a safer direction than out-of-control superintelligence.” “Think again,” he added, “instead, the most influential responses have been a combination of…MIT Professor Compares Ignoring AGI to “Don’t Look Up”

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