We need to think harder about artificial intelligence. In particular, governments need to think harder - and work harder - to protect ourselves from the awesome technology rushing towards us.
It's true that it offers immense benefits - but it is not alarmist to say it also threatens nothing short of a doomsday scenario.
A talk at the ANU on Tuesday titled "Algorithmic Armageddon" will be about automated weapons - with decision-making minds of their own - triggering an uncontrollable nuclear confrontation.
As computer systems become more intelligent - able to learn and adapt their own behaviour and to outthink humans - the very real risk is they see human beings as obstacles to their own aims. We may think we've set the rules but the machines may outwit us.
One of the world's leading thinkers on AI, Max Tegmark of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offers this scenario: "If you have machines that control the planet, and they are interested in doing a lot of computation and they want to scale up their computing infrastructure, it's natural that they would want to use our land for that.
"If we protest too much, then we become a pest and a nuisance to them. They might want to rearrange the biosphere to do something else with those atoms - and if that is not compatible with human life, well, tough luck for us."
Another of the world's big thinkers, Stuart Russell of the University of California at Berkley, described AI as potentially "civilisation-ending" technology.
Expert after expert is warning that governments need to act to keep this amazing technology safe.
Companies working on AI say they are aware of the dangers. But we cannot trust them ultimately to put our safety before their own profitability. The control of these companies by men with large egos would be even more dangerous.
Professor Russell from Berkeley is one of the most sane - and knowledgeable - thinkers on AI. We should listen to him.
"The last 'civilisation-ending technology' - atomic energy - has been the subject of intense governance and extreme care on behalf of its engineers," he said.
"Even less charged technology fields, like aviation, are meticulously regulated. AI should be, too."
Governments should listen and act. Before it's too late.
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