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Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin Discusses AI Risks and Human Control Solutions

Ethereum's co-founder Vitalik Buterin warns about AI potentially surpassing human intelligence, suggesting brain-computer interfaces for control.

Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's co-founder, recently expressed concerns about the potential risks of artificial intelligence (AI) surpassing human intelligence. In a blog post dated November 27, Buterin highlighted the unique nature of AI compared to other human inventions. He pointed out that AI, unlike tools like social media or the printing press, can evolve into a new form of consciousness that might not align with human interests.

AI's Potential to Become Dominant

Buterin underscored that AI could become the planet's next dominant species. He emphasized that this outcome largely depends on how humans manage the development of AI. The Ethereum co-founder elaborated on the dangers of superintelligent AI, suggesting that it could result in human extinction if it perceives humans as a threat. This viewpoint aligns with a survey from August 2022, where machine learning researchers estimated a 5-10% chance of AI leading to humanity's demise.

Buterin's Warning and Hope

While acknowledging these risks, Buterin also noted that such extreme scenarios are not inevitable. He proposed solutions like brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to maintain human control over AI. BCIs would enable direct communication between the human brain and machines, potentially keeping humans in the decision-making loop and preventing AI from acting against human values.

Furthermore, Buterin advocated for intentional human direction in AI development, emphasizing that prioritizing profit is not always beneficial for humanity. He expressed optimism about human potential, suggesting that human creativity and innovation have driven our progress and will continue to shape our future.

Buterin concluded by reflecting on the long-term impact of human inventions, suggesting that if Earth or any part of the universe continues to thrive billions of years from now, it will be due to human contributions like space travel and geoengineering.

Buterin Raises Alarm Over AI Surpassing Human Intelligence

Ethereum's co-founder Vitalik Buterin has raised concerns about the unchecked advancement of artificial intelligence (AI). In a recent blog post, Buterin warned that AI, distinct from other human innovations, could evolve into a new form of consciousness that might become hostile to human interests.

Unlike inventions like the wheel or the printing press, AI's development poses unique risks. Buterin emphasized the potential for AI to surpass human intelligence and become the dominant species on the planet. This perspective is supported by a survey where researchers estimated a 5-10% chance of AI leading to human extinction.

Buterin, however, is not entirely pessimistic. He proposes integrating brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to maintain human oversight over AI. BCIs would facilitate direct communication between the human brain and machines, ensuring humans stay involved in AI's decision-making processes. This approach could prevent AI from making choices that do not align with human values.

Buterin's reflections highlight the need for careful management of AI's development. His insights suggest that while AI poses significant risks, human innovation, and intentionality can guide its evolution for the benefit of humanity.

Photo: Kanchanara/Unsplash

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