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Threat of AI taking over hasn’t gone anywhere

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Threat of AI taking over hasn’t gone anywhere

In case anyone forgot, the AI singularity remains a threat to everyone.

The singularity is one of many technology-driven worries that ebb and flow. It is the theoretical point in time when software, intrinsic to daily life, becomes self-aware and decides to fumigate all the chatty bugs devaluing its newly acquired acreage.

Politico has reported that a think tank dedicated to preventing this scenario has expanded from the United States to the European Union. The mega-rich tech and business tycoons funding the seven-year-old Future of Life Institute have looked at the state of U.S. public leadership and tech-firm dominance, and decided to make Europe their plan B.

One of the founders of the institute, Jaan Tallinn, told Politico that humans are defenseless against the possibility of the singularity. Tallinn co-created Skype as well.

It is widely rumored that most if not all major economies have kill switches for internet traffic within each country, ready to shut down the digital rabble. And it is clear that openly authoritarian regimes are adept at handily controlling online flows, at least.

It is unlikely however, that even China could erase packets traversing the Internet of Things, and that is what robotic despots would take over first.

A paranoid’s nightmare to be sure, but Bill Gates, never one to run with his hair ablaze, has said: “I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence.”

The turn to Europe for protective AI policies is encouraging — eggs and baskets — but disconcerting as neither of the two largest economies can be bothered about the topic. The United States may have no bigger fish to fry, but it definitely has many hundreds of smaller fish all frying at the same time. And China, well, China.

A former vice president of Baidu made an analogy about the singularity and Mars. The Red Planet might choke on overpopulation, but that’s far in the future.

The European parliament, meanwhile, at least has anti-AI overlord legislation in a committee.

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