Activist groups the Elders and the Future of Life Institute have penned a stark warning that AI could pose “grave danger” to the world.

In an open letter, the two activist groups claimed that the risks AI could pose to humanity are still unknown and could exacerbate other endangering issues like the climate crisis. 

Additionally, the letter advises world leaders to take a long-term view of AI and nuclear weapons.  

“In a year when half the world’s adult population face elections, we urge all those seeking office to take a bold new approach,” the letter reads. “We need long-view leadership from decision-makers who understand the urgency of the existential threats we face.” 

In the letter political leaders are advised to make decisions that benefit future generations rather than creating policies that only serve short-term political cycles. 

“Long-view leadership means showing the determination to resolve intractable problems not just manage them,” it reads. “Long-view leaders must have the moral strength to address both current concerns and long-term risks, often at the expense of vested interests,” it adds.

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The letter’s signatories include J. Robert Oppenheimer’s grandson, Charles Oppenheimer, who founded the Oppenheimer Project, an organisation dedicated to promoting the safe development of technology. 

The Future of Life Institute has written multiple letters on AI ethics and safety, including a letter calling for large-scale AI projects to be paused.  

According to forecasts from research and analysis company GlobalData, AI will be worth more than $909bn worldwide by 2030. 

As AI becomes ubiquitous in the workplace and online, global regulation will be needed to ensure that it is used ethically. 

The letter can be read in full here