A.I. Poses ‘Risk of Extinction,’ Industry Leaders Warn

A group of industry leaders is planning to warn on Tuesday that the artificial intelligence technology they are building may one day pose an existential threat to humanity and should be considered a societal risk on par with pandemics and nuclear wars.

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from A.I. should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks, such as pandemics and nuclear war,” reads a one-sentence statement expected to be released by the Center for AI Safety, a nonprofit organization. The open letter has been signed by more than 350 executives, researchers and engineers working in A.I.

The signatories included top executives from three of the leading A.I. companies: Sam Altman, chief executive of OpenAI; Demis Hassabis, chief executive of Google DeepMind; and Dario Amodei, chief executive of Anthropic.

Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio, two of the three researchers who won a Turing Award for their pioneering work on neural networks and are often considered “godfathers” of the modern A.I. movement, signed the statement, as did other prominent researchers in the field (The third Turing Award winner, Yann LeCun, who leads Meta’s A.I. research efforts, had not signed as of Tuesday.)

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