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Report commissioned by Biden administration gives dire warning about AI

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Associated Press/Photo by Eric Risberg, file

Report commissioned by Biden administration gives dire warning about AI

The company released its report this week, roughly a year and a half after the U.S. State Department commissioned it in late 2022. The report, obtained by WORLD, warns that, in the worst-case scenario, artificial intelligence poses an “extinction-level threat to the human species.” The report said AI systems “can and will be weaponized in many ways” and that when they are, their effects will bear similarities to weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear bombs.

How might weaponization take place? The report asserts that competition between AI development firms has fostered a disregard for safety and security risks, which has exposed the United States to the risk that foreign actors could steal artificial intelligence technology and weaponize it against the United States. Just recently, the Justice Department charged a Chinese national with seeking to steal proprietary artificial intelligence information for two Chinese companies. Gladstone’s report also noted that AI firms could lose control of their products and threaten the safety of the United States and other countries.

How can these dangers be avoided? Gladstone argued that industry self-regulation would be inadequate to reduce all the risks arising from AI. As a result, it proposed a five-step action plan outlining separate “lines of effort” the United States can take to protect against the threats of AI. First, it suggested the United States establish interim guidelines for developing and using AI before formalizing and internationalizing those guidelines. While doing that, it suggested the government ought to prepare for any sort of AI incidents and research technical solutions to AI risks.

Dig deeper: Read Brad Littlejohn’s column in WORLD Opinions about how we must not fall for election-year AI-developed deepfakes.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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