Stark warning on dangers of AI could be a red flag or a red herring

Leading experts have written a letter warning that artificial intelligence is dangerous and could hasten the extinction of humankind – but other specialists say the warnings are just a distraction from the real issues

Sam Altman, chief of OpenAI, was one of the ‘godfathers of AI’ to sign the statement issued last week. PIcture: Getty

As warnings go, it doesn’t get much starker than the clarion call issued by experts last week to take artificial intelligence (AI) seriously.

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war,” said signatories to the statement from the Centre for AI Safety, a San Francisco-based research NGO.

Sam Altman, chief executive of ChatGPT developer OpenAI, Demis Hassabis, co-founder of DeepMind, and ...