Warning Against AI Issued As New Human Genome Project Is Unveiled
A new warning has just been issued to those involved in the creation of artificial intelligence to consider the “profound implications” involved.
Philosopher Nick Bostrom, points out that “intelligence is what has lifted humans to their current dominion over many aspects of nature, so we need to consider the safety measures needed now, so that we can plan for the eventuality of an intelligence superior to our own.
He backs up his claim with the very strong case of human domination over the rest of the animal kingdom, stating “Chimpanzees are strong…pound for pound, a chimpanzee is about twice as strong as a fit human male. And yet, the fate of chimpanzees depends a lot more on what we humans do, than on what the chimpanzees do themselves. Once there is super-intelligence, the fate of humanity may depend on what that super-intelligence does.
In related news, genetic scientists have just unveiled plans for a development project called the Human Genome Project–Write, and hope to raise $100 million in public and private funds by the end of 2016 in order to build a synthetic genome and test it in laboratory cells within 10 years.
Jef Boeke, project member and geneticist at the New York University Langone Medical Center, said “Exponential improvements in genome engineering technologies and functional testing provide an opportunity to deepen the understanding of our genetic blueprint and use this knowledge to address many of the global problems facing humanity.”
The project assures that “information and knowledge gained from the development of HGP-write will be made available for free to the general public.” and scientists hope that once human DNA is better understood, new medications and better treatments and preventions for diseases and disabilities might be developed.
Francis Collins, former head of a previous Human Genome Project and current head of the National Institutes of Health, said that although there is a clear upside to these experiments, he also commented that “there are only limited ethical concerns about synthesizing segments of DNA for laboratory experiments. But whole-genome, whole-organism synthesis projects extend far beyond current scientific capabilities, and immediately raise numerous ethical and philosophical red flags.”
The project does state that they will first attempt to synthesize just 1 percent of the human genome to determine of full synthesizing is truly feasible.