Opinion | AI threats are the new frontier in weapons control


Henry Kissinger has spent much of his career thinking about the dangers of nuclear weapons. But at 99, the former secretary of state says he has become “obsessed” with the most modern concern – how to limit the destructive potential of artificial intelligence, whose power can be more destructive than the biggest bomb.

Kissinger described AI as the new frontier of arms control during a forum at Washington National Cathedral on November 16th. If the leading powers do not find a way to limit the possibilities of AI, he said, “it’s just a crazy race for some catastrophe.”

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The warning from Kissinger, one of the world’s most prominent statesmen and strategists, is a sign of growing global concern about the power of “thinking machines” as they interact with global business, finance and War. He spoke through a video link at a church forum titled “Humans, Machines and Gods”, this year’s theme in the annual Nancy and Paul Ignatius program, named in honor of my parents.

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Kissinger’s concerns about AI were echoed by two other analysts: Eric Schmidt, former Google chief executive and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee-appointed Committee on Artificial Intelligence, released its report last week. Last year. And Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Adviser for the Biden administration for Internet technology and growing.

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The former Secretary of State cautioned that AI could turn war like they are into chess or any other strategy game because it has the ability to move unnoticed, but with serious consequences. “What I’m talking about is that in the search for legitimate questions we ask them, they come to unnecessary conclusions like us and we will have to live in their world,” Kissinger said. Say that.

“We are surrounded by a lot of machines that the real thinking we may not know,” he said. “How do you create restrictions on the machine? Even today we have fighter jets that can fight or air combat without any human intervention. But these are just the beginning of the process. “It’s a detailed description of 50 years that will come as a surprise.”

Kissinger has urged US and Chinese leaders, the world’s tech giants, to launch an urgent discussion on how to apply the limits and ethical standards for AI.

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He said such a conversation could start with President Biden telling Chinese President Xi Jinping: “We both have a lot of issues to discuss, but there is one overwhelming issue: you and I are the only ones in history who can Destroy the world by our decision on this. [AI-driven warfare]And it is impossible to achieve unilateral benefits in this regard. “So we should start with the first principle that we will not fight a high-tech war against each other.”

Kissinger suggested that US and Chinese leaders may begin high-tech security talks with an agreement to “create the first small institutions whose work will be informed.” [national leaders] About the risks and what can be related to each other, how to reduce the risk. China has long resisted nuclear weapons talks of the kind that Kissinger had with the Soviet Union during his years as national security adviser and secretary of state.

U.S. officials say China will not discuss nuclear weapons until they reach an agreement with the United States and Russia, whose weapons are shut down by a series of agreements beginning with the 1972 SALT treaty negotiated by Kissinger.

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The transformative power of the AI ​​world became a major concern for Kissinger in his late 90s, with Schmidt as his mentor. The two co-authored a book last year with MIT professor Daniel Huttenlocher entitled “The Age of AI: And Our Human Future” describing the opportunities and dangers of new technologies.

Kissinger’s first major public comment on AI was the 2018 article in Atlantic Magazine entitled “How Enlightenment Ends”. The subtitle of the article summarizes its chilling message: “By intellectual philosophy – by all means – human society is not prepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.”

Kissinger told the audience at the church that for all the destruction of nuclear weapons “they do not have this. [AI] Ability to start on their own, based on their perceptions, their own perceptions of danger or goal selection.

Asked if he was optimistic about humanity’s ability to limit AI’s destructive capabilities when it was applied to war, Kissinger replied: “I maintain my optimism in the sense that if we do not address it “It will really destroy us.… We have no choice.”


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