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Health Experts Sound Alarm Over AI Development

Health experts have called for artificial intelligence  (AI) to be regulated, saying it “poses a number of threats to human health and well-being,” and claim the “window of opportunity to avoid serious and potentially existential harms is closing.”

This comes after other recent warnings from tech figures, including Geoffrey Hinton and a group of experts among 1,000 signatories of a letter calling for a suspension on AI development until rules have been set in place to ensure the safety of use.

This latest warning came from an article written by health professionals from the U.S., U.K., Australia, Costa Rica, and Malaysia, published by BMJ Global Health.

The experts highlighted three ways AI poses a threat to human health, claiming the “control and manipulation of people, use of lethal autonomous weapons, and the effects on work and employment.”

They also believe a more advanced version of AI “could threaten humanity itself.”

It starts by noting the increased usage of AI in society, but warned it can be used by political candidates to “manipulate their way into power,” citing cases of AI-driven subversion of elections, including in the 2016 U.S. election.

“When combined with the rapidly improving ability to distort or misrepresent reality with deepfakes, AI-driven information systems may further undermine democracy by causing a general breakdown in trust or by driving social division and conflict, with ensuing public health impacts.”

It also noted the increased usage of AI in military and defense systems, with the “dehumanisation of human warfare” having a myriad of consequences for human health as weapons become more sophisticated and easier to deploy.

It also states that AI could replace many jobs one day, noting unemployment is strongly associated with health outcomes.

It also noted the nightmare that one day AI could become so advanced, it poses a threat to humanity.

“We are now seeking to create machines that are vastly more intelligent and powerful than ourselves,” the article said. “The potential for such machines to apply this intelligence and power –whether deliberately or not — in ways that could harm or subjugate humans is real and has to be considered.”

Although the article did touch on some of the benefits AI has, it states so many issues to be concerned with as the technology advances.

The team suggested the effective regulation of the development and use of AI is needed “to avoid harm. Until such effective regulation is in place, a moratorium on the development of self-improving artificial general intelligence should be instituted.”

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