Open Letter: AI 'Not a Threat to Humanity'

    Open Letter: AI 'Not a Threat to Humanity'
    Last updated Jul 19, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • An open letter signed by over 1.3K experts in artificial intelligence (AI) says that AI is a "force for good" and "not a threat to humanity." The letter was released by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, a UK-based technology society.
    • Signatories include University of Oxford professor Luciano Floridi, Stemettes CEO Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon, and entrepreneur Sir Ken Olisa, among other figures in technology and academia.
    • BCS CEO Rashik Parmar says that the signatories of the letter believe AI will be a "trusted co-pilot in learning, work, healthcare, entertainment." The letter states that, ultimately, AI will not become an "existential threat to humanity."
    • The letter responds to an open letter published earlier this year that called for a "pause" in AI development to help mitigate risks, which was signed by industry leaders, including Elon Musk. The BCS argues that such a halt would play into the hands of bad actors and fail to address the current risks of AI.
    • In statements to the media, signatories of the letter expressed optimism that AI will have a positive impact on the world, providing examples from fields such as medicine and agriculture. The letter also encourages the UK to take an active role in global AI regulation and collaboration.


    Narrative A

    There's good reason to be hopeful about the future of AI, and a better world is within our reach with careful management of the technology. By focusing less on apocalyptic predictions and more on tangible harms and benefits, we can fully unleash the power of AI to tackle some of our most serious problems in the scientific and human realms. We must remain level-headed and work to ensure AI is used for good.

    Narrative B

    Anyone who is blasé about the risk AI poses to humanity hasn't been paying close enough attention. AI has been developing at a breakneck pace and could outsmart humanity before too long. It's imperative that we take the existential risk that AI poses seriously, as an arms race between developers could see everything from fake news to cybercrime explode thanks to the sophisticated tech. We cannot afford to be reckless in this endeavor.

    Technoskeptic narrative

    The doomsayers and the optimists are two sides of the same coin, feeding into the unfounded hype around AI systems that has been uncritically reported by the media. The technology behind AI isn't fundamentally new, and humans are wrongly ascribing human traits to clever programs, easily duping us. AI will not be the end of the world, and it won't be a gold rush for anyone but those who get the public to buy into the hype.

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