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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Apocalypse: Scientists Simulate Superintelligence in Video Game and the AI Takes Over | Newsweek - Tech & Science

"Scientists simulate what the introduction of advanced artificial intelligence into society would look like" inform Anthony Cuthbertson, staff writer at Newsweek, based in London.
The superintelligence modification to the "Civilization" game imagines what it would be like if an advanced AI was introduced to society.

The rise of powerful artificial intelligence, professor Stephen Hawking once warned, will be “either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity.” Unfortunately, by the time we find out which, it may already be too late—but a new video game simulation may offer clues as to what we might expect.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk have built a "Superintelligence" modification for the classic strategy game Civilization 5 that envisions a scenario in which a smarter-than-human AI is introduced to society.

One outcome offers a dire prophecy of the demise of humanity, achieving the game’s aim of helping players better understand the existential threat posed by advanced artificial intelligence.

“Artificial intelligence can initially provide some benefits, and eventually can turn into superintelligence that brings mastery of science to its discoverer,” the researchers write in the add-on’s description.

“However, if too much artificial intelligence research goes uncontrolled, rogue superintelligence can destroy humanity and bring an instant loss of the game.”

In this scenario, a message appears in the game that reads: “A device for creating utopia on Earth has been discovered, and your civilization was not the one to discover it. Future generations will live in a perfect world, but someone else’s perfect world, as your civilization lies forgotten in the ancient books of history.”

Steam/ Civilization
It is not the first video game to imagine the detrimental consequences of a rogue AI, with a game reenacting a well-known AI thought experiment going viral in October last year.

The game Paperclips explored the parable of an AI programmed to manufacture paperclips, first described by the philosopher Nick Bostrom in a 2003 paper exploring ethical issues in advanced artificial intelligence.

While the goal of the AI is simple, if it is not programmed to value human life then it could eventually gather all matter in the universe—including human beings—in order to create more paperclips.

Both games highlight the fear that a machine smarter than humans will be impossible to switch off. At a conference in 2015, Bostrom hypothesized why neanderthals didn’t wipe out humans when they had the chance to avoid being taken over as the dominant species on the planet.

“They certainly had reasons,” Bostrom said in his TED (technology, entertainment and design) talk. “The reason is that we are an intelligent adversary. We can anticipate threats and plan around them. But so could a super intelligent agent and it would be much better at that than we are.”
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Source: Newsweek