Lessons for Artificial Intelligence from Other Global Risks

The Global Politics of Artificial Intelligence, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2020

20 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2020

See all articles by Seth Baum

Seth Baum

Global Catastrophic Risk Institute

Robert de Neufville

Good Judgment

Anthony Barrett

Global Catastrophic Risk Institute

Gary Ackerman

SUNY University at Albany

Date Written: May 24, 2020

Abstract

The prominence of artificial intelligence (AI) as a global risk is a relatively recent phenomenon. Other global risks have longer histories and larger bodies of scholarship. The study of these other risks can offer considerable insight to the study of AI risk. This paper examines four risks: biotechnology, nuclear weapons, global warming, and asteroid collision. Several overarching lessons are found. First, the extreme severity of global risks is often insufficient to motivate action to reduce the risks. Second, perceptions of global risks can be influenced by people’s incentives and by their cultural and intellectual orientations. Third, the success of efforts to address global risks can depend on the extent of buy-in from parties who may be negatively affected by the efforts. Fourth, global risks and risk reduction initiatives can be shaped by broader socio-political conditions, such as the degree of policy influence of private industry within a political jurisdiction. The paper shows how these and other lessons can inform efforts to reduce risks from AI.

Suggested Citation

Baum, Seth and de Neufville, Robert and Barrett, Anthony and Ackerman, Gary, Lessons for Artificial Intelligence from Other Global Risks (May 24, 2020). The Global Politics of Artificial Intelligence, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3609295

Seth Baum (Contact Author)

Global Catastrophic Risk Institute ( email )

Robert De Neufville

Good Judgment ( email )

230 Park Ave Rm 1515
New York, NY
United States

Anthony Barrett

Global Catastrophic Risk Institute ( email )

Gary Ackerman

SUNY University at Albany ( email )

1400 Washington Avenue
Building, Room 109
Albany, NY 12222
United States

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