Last month, Oxford University was given £150m by a US billionaire, Stephen A. Schwarzman, to study the ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence. In the announcement, he warned that technology left unaffected would “trample over certain aspects of human behaviour and human opportunities”, before setting out the potential to “reaffirm western values” and “help the world adjust to changing times.” Which raises the question: whose values exactly would we be reaffirming?
We commissioned this week’s Artificial Intelligence special to explore this question, and others surrounding ethics and AI. In particular, we asked four writers to reflect on what the Bishop of Oxford has suggested is the deep question of our age: “What does it mean to be a human?”
We also feature an extract from a new book by Tom Chivers, who spent months with some of those who have long worried about the existential threat posed by AI. In this podcast, Madeleine Davies talks to him about how worried we should be.
Tom’s book, The AI Does Not Hate You: Superintelligence, rationality and the race to save the world, is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson at £16.99 (CT Bookshop £15.30).
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