Robert F. Service
Tech experts have been sounding the alarm that artificial intelligence (AI) could turn against humanity by taking over everything from business to warfare. Now, Kevin Esvelt is adding another worry: AI could help somebody with no science background and evil intentions design and order a virus capable of unleashing a pandemic.
… Esvelt and others say the exercise, which he describes in an arXiv preprint posted on 6 June, underscores that AI systems may soon allow nonscientists to design bioweapons as menacing as nuclear weapons. “The introduction of rapidly advancing AI tools is lowering the barrier to access to synthetic living systems,” says Jaime Yassif, who heads global public policy for the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nongovernmental organization that focuses on reducing nuclear and biosecurity threats. “This is dramatically increasing the risk in ways that are really alarming.”
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