A group of the world’s most eminent artificial intelligence experts have put together a set of 23 principles to guide future research into AI, which have since been endorsed by hundreds more professionals, including Stephen Hawking and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Called the Asilomar AI Principles (after the beach in California, where they were thought up), the guidelines cover research issues, ethics and values, and longer-term issues – everything from how scientists should work with governments to how lethal weapons should be handled.
On that point: “An arms race in lethal autonomous weapons should be avoided,” says principle 18. Perhaps the most telling guideline is principle 23, entitled ‘Common Good’: “Superintelligence should only be developed in the service of widely shared ethical ideals, and for the benefit of all humanity rather than one state or organisation.”
Other principles in the list suggest that any AI allowed to self-improve must be strictly monitored, and that developments in the tech should be “shared broadly” and “benefit all of humanity”.