UK science project, to ensure AI can follow rules and make ethical decisions, is ready to prevent robot world dominationAge: 37 months
Sealed in 12 January 2015 19:18:06
Opened at: 12 January 2018 12:30:00
- Researchers at the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool and the West of England, Bristol will address concerns around artificially intelligent robots -Their £1.4 million project will run until 2018 - Project aims to ensure robots meet industrial standards and are created responsibly, allaying fears that humans may not be able to control them. Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are among the eminent scientists who fear that intelligent robots could be mankind’s downfall.
And just days after Professor Hawking warned that 'artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,' a team of British researchers are embarking on a collaborative project to ensure that the autonomous robots we build in the future will make decisions that are ethical and can follow rules.
Robots that can think and act without human intervention are fast moving from fiction to reality. The nuclear, aerospace, manufacturing and agricultural industries are starting to develop autonomous systems that can carry out tasks that are either too difficult or too dangerous for humans, while driverless cars are already with us.
Researchers at the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool and the West of England, Bristol have set up a new project to address concerns around these new technologies, with the aim of ensuring robots meet industrial standards and are developed responsibly. The £1.4 million project will run until 2018.
Professor Michael Fisher, principal investigator at Liverpool, said the project will ‘develop formal verification techniques for tackling questions of safety, ethics, legality and reliability across a range of autonomous systems.’ The news may be a relief to scientists such as Professor Hawking, who last week warned that humanity faces an uncertain future as technology learns to think for itself and adapt to its environment.
Speaking at event in London, the physicist told the BBC: 'The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.'
This echoes claims he made earlier in the year when he said success in creating AI 'would be the biggest event in human history, [but] unfortunately, it might also be the last.'
Last month, Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind Space-X and Tesla, warned that the risk of ‘something seriously dangerous happening’ as a result of machines with artificial intelligence, could be in as few as five years.
He has previously linked the development of autonomous, thinking machines, to ‘summoning the demon’.
Speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AeroAstro Centennial Symposium in October, Musk described artificial intelligence as our ‘biggest existential threat’.
He said: ‘I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with artificial intelligence.
‘I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. ‘With artificial intelligence we’re summoning the demon. You know those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram, and the holy water, and … he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.’
In August, he warned that AI could to do more harm than nuclear weapons.
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