The singularity— the time when super intelligent computers surpass human understanding and shed human control—may soon be upon us

Suppose a medical research team asks a chatbot to develop a vaccine to eradicate every variant of COVID-19 in humans. It’s a perfectly reasonable request that could go shockingly wrong. 

The machine might formulate a drug that renders recipients infertile, thus reducing the population to zero and eliminating the virus. That perfectly logical but chillingly cold solution achieves the goal but at the cost of pushing our species to the brink of extinction.  

Perhaps the example seems extreme, but it’s far from absurd. 

“This is exactly how a pure optimization process solves problems,” warns Roman...

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