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Dire Warning

Bill Gates Compares Artificial Intelligence to Nuclear Weapons

Gates called AI "both promising and dangerous" — and compared the tech to nuclear weapons.

Jon ChristianMarch 19th 2019

Nuclear Option

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates issued a grave warning Monday, comparing advanced artificial intelligence to nuclear weapons — and arguing that the United States is losing its edge in the global AI research race.

“The world hasn’t had that many technologies that are both promising and dangerous,” Gates said during an event at Stanford, according to CNETHe added that “I won’t say there are that many” examples of AI having improved society.

Peril and Promise

At the same time, Gates expressed hope that the tech could be used to improve health and medicine around the world. But he also warned that the United States’ grip on AI research is starting to slip compared to other countries.

“The US was in this totally unique position for most of these breakthrough technologies,” he said. “Now the US is still very much the leader, but not [in the] same dominant, dominant way.”

AI Overlord

In the past, Gates has also expressed concern about how humanity might grapple with an AI super intelligence – as CNET pointed out.

“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence,” Gates said in 2015. “First, the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that, though, the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern.”

READ MORE: Bill Gates says AI should improve education and medicine [CNET]

More on Bill Gates: China Tariffs Blocked Bill Gates’ Plan for Safe Nuclear Power

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