To be a scientist chosen to devote their professional lives to working on Artificial Intelligence systems requires an incredible amount of brain power. So, it would be logical to trust their opinion on all things AI related, even if their determinations are slightly unsettling. 

According to a study of AI researchers, 36% believe that the technology could lead to a disaster comparable to a global nuclear war. 

There are some chilling phrases these accomplished scientists and business leaders used in this report, including “summoning the demon” and “the new tools of oppression.” That is why AI is such a tricky and complex subject.  There’s no question it will lead to incredible advances, but there is that lurking doomsday scenario that is not far-fetched, according to over a third of the scientists polled in this study. 

Stuart Russell is one of the leading experts on AI, and he’s been talking about the dire potential of the technology being in the wrong hands for years. 

Because the advances of AI are happening so quickly and most Americans have less awareness about it than they do blockchain technology, urban legends can ignite, and stories of what is happening in labs can take over the internet. 

An example is the conspiracy theory that AI robots killed 29 Japanese scientists, a claim a woman named Linda Moulton Howe made in 2017, and now a video of her speech making that claim has gone viral. She talks about a phone call she allegedly had with a former marine working for the CIA. 

Here’s how she described it.

“At a top robotics company in Japan this week, four robots being developed for military applications killed 29 humans in the lab. And they did it by shooting what he called metal bullets. I didn’t know there was any other kind.

“The scariest part is that lab workers deactivated two of the robots and took apart the third. But the fourth robot began restoring itself and somehow connected to an orbiting satellite to download information about how it could rebuild itself even more strongly than before. This is serious s***, Linda, but you’re not going to hear about this in the news. The robotics company has too much to lose, and the government wants AI robot soldiers.”

AI is a subject that is going to get more and more attention and publicity. Elon Musk is set to introduce a fully functional robot soon, and studies that illustrate the concern of scientists at the forefront of AI technology will only fuel the fire. 

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