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Beware the machines: Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk warn about the rise of AI

Sam Shead | Jan. 13, 2015
Artificial intelligence is an exciting but daunting field that needs to be monitored, according to experts that are developing technologies in the field. An open letter backed by a number of big names warns that humans need to be aware of the risks associated with uncontrolled AI development.

Indeed, AI technology is already built into devices we use in our every day lives. For example, Siri, an intelligent personal assistant that sits inside iPhones and iPads is underpinned by AI developed by Apple, while Google's self-driving vehicles also rely heavily on AI. According to the FT, more than 150 startups in Silicon Valley are working on AI today.

The FLI warns that greater focus on the social ramifications of AI are necessary as the field attracts more investment and tech firms start to realise the rewards that can be obtained from creating self-thinking computers.

"Many economists and computer scientists agree that there is valuable research to be done on how to maximise the economic benefits of AI while mitigating adverse effects, which could include increased inequality and unemployment," writes the FLI in the paper.


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