Artificial general intelligence is our greatest existential risk.

Ord’s book provides a taxonomy of humanity’s existential risks. The two broad categories are natural risks and man-made risks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, man-made risks substantially outweigh natural risks such as asteroids and volcanos. The impact is the same either way: existential risk is existential risk whatever its origin. The biggest man-made risk in Ord’s opinion is artificial general intelligence that is unaligned with humanity’s needs and wishes. He rates this risk at 1 in 10. The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is not to prevent its development. Rather, it is to develop it cautiously, even iteratively, under the umbrella of appropriate international protocols.

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