Ten Possible Risks of Artificial Intelligence

Possible Risks of Artificial Intelligence

What are the risks of artificial intelligence?

What should we be doing about them? The idea of AI has been around for decades. But recent advances have completely transformed what we can achieve with the technology. And as a result, many experts believe we’re teetering on the edge of an AI revolution. This is fantastic news if you’re struggling with really knotty problems like how to cure incurable diseases or solve world hunger, or even design safer and faster ways of getting from A to B. Here, smart machines are already paving the way to doing things which would have been impossible without them.

But there are downsides to creating machines that can think and act way faster than humans; and often in ways that we don’t fully understand. Because of this, we need to be thinking now about what might possibly go wrong, so we can avoid potentially disastrous mistakes in the future. Risk Bites we’ll be diving further into some of the possible risks of AI in later episodes.

Here are 10 things we should probably be thinking about now that can risks of Artificial Intelligence .


machines that make it harder to think for ourselves. Of course, apps like Google and Alexa and Siri are already doing this to some extent. But the more we rely on smart machines to do stuff for us, the more we risk losing skills that we may one day regret.


Machines that take away jobs. This is a huge issue as smart machines begin to outperform smart people. The big question is whether we can keep on inventing jobs that humans do better, or if we need to consider a future without paid jobs.


Machines that learn from our worst habits. As we train smart machines, will they end up as opinionated, biased, and anti-social, as some of their human trainers? The evidence so far is that, unless we work hard on avoiding this, sadly they probably will.


Machines that make decisions we don’t understand. Imagine failing a job interview, or flunking a class, or being fined; all because a machine made a decision that no one could explain, but you had to live with anyway. Scarily, were already on the slippery slope of giving smart machines the authority to make such decisions without being accountable for them.


Machines that don’t understand what’s important to people. Imagine an AI that has the power to change your life, but it has its own ideas about what’s important and what’s acceptable.

This is great if you both agree; but it’s a nightmare if you don’t.


Machines that kill people. Of course, machines kill people all the time. But usually there’s a person making the final decision. What happens though when we replace that person with another machine?


Machines that alter their own instructions. Interestingly, we want machines that can think for themselves when solving complex problems. But what if they get too smart?


Machines that make smart-dumb decisions. We know that smart people can make decisions that look really stupid with hindsight; especially when they can’t appreciate the full consequences of their actions.

Sadly, from what we know of complex systems, smart machines are likely to have exactly the same problem.


Machines that decide we’re not needed! What if AIs get so smart that they realize people are a waste of space?

The good news is that we’re probably a long way from super intelligent machines that are disdainful of mere human beings. But it’s worth thinking about, just in case.


Machines that use our human weaknesses to control us. What are the chances that we create machines that are smart enough to understand our human foibles and use them against us? If we’re not careful, we won’t be fearing our

We’ll be worshipping them! Of course, despite these and other risks, AI could make our lives amazingly better if it’s developed responsibly.

But this won’t happen if we don’t think about the possible downsides up-front. The good news is that AI developers and others are already beginning to do this. But we’re going to need a whole lot of input from experts in many other areas, if the benefits of AI are to far outweigh the risks..

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