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Bill Gates warns against artificial intelligence

Gates raised points on super intelligence and the possibility of that strength evolving into a concern

Published: Updated:

Humans should be wary of the threat posed by artificial intelligence (AI), Bill Gates said on Thursday during an “ask me anything” question session on the content sharing site Reddit.

His comments come just days after – and in contrast to – remarks made by Microsoft Research chief Eric Horvitz, who played down any threats, the BBC reported.

“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. 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,” he said.

“A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned”

Stephen Hawking also previously warned of the possibility of AI going beyond human control. He said he believed machines that operate with AI could “spell the end of the human race.”

But Eric Horvitz reiterated his conviction that such a scenario will not happen.

“There have been concerns about the long-term prospect that we lose control of certain kinds of intelligences. I fundamentally don't think that's going to happen,” he said during an interview following his acceptance of the AAAI Feigenbaum Prize for “outstanding advances” in AI research.

“I think that we will be very proactive in terms of how we field AI systems, and that in the end we'll be able to get incredible benefits from machine intelligence in all realms of life, from science to education to economics to daily life.”

However, Gates said that despite his reservations, he would have ventured into AI research had Microsoft not succeeded.

“When I started Microsoft I was worried I would miss the chance to do basic work in that field,” he said.