AI extinction risk warning: 350 experts urge human rights-based approach

The Center for AI Safety recently issued a public warning, signed by over 350 scientists, business executives, and public figures, stating that mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority, alongside other societal scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war. Notably, some signatories, including the CEOs of Google DeepMind and OpenAI, represent companies responsible for creating the very technology they now warn against.

The rapid rise of new Generative AI tools, which can create content that is often indistinguishable from “real” data, has sparked concern among the general public. For instance, OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot reached 100 million users in less than two months, far outpacing the initial growth of platforms like TikTok.

In light of these developments, the human rights community is urging companies developing Generative AI products to take immediate action to prevent any negative consequences for human rights. A human rights-based approach to Generative AI might involve three steps.

First, companies should implement a rigorous human rights due diligence framework, as outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This involves proactive and ongoing due diligence to identify and mitigate potential harms, as well as transparency regarding these issues.

Second, companies should proactively engage with academics, civil society actors, and community organisations, particularly those representing traditionally marginalised communities. Active engagement with these groups should be part of the product design and policy development processes, to better understand the potential impact of these new tools.

Lastly, the human rights community must step up in the absence of regulation to prevent and mitigate the potentially dangerous effects of Generative AI. Human rights organisations should take the lead in identifying actual and potential harm, building a deep understanding of these tools, and developing research, advocacy, and engagement that anticipate the transformative power of Generative AI.

Implementing a human rights-based approach to identifying and responding to harm is a crucial first step in ensuring that this powerful new technology benefits humanity. Complacency and cynicism are not options; all stakeholders must work together to address the challenges posed by AI.

World News

Matthew Coles

Matthew is a British journalist with a unique flair in reporting about the latest news and events happening in Europe. Matthew focuses on producing well-researched, balanced, and narrative-driven content related to both national and regional interests across various European countries. He is passionate about discovering the diverse cultures found within Europe and showcasing them through his insightful articles.

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