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Home > News > Bostrom talk on X-Risk and AI transcribed

September 8th, 2007

Bostrom talk on X-Risk and AI transcribed

Abstract:
The title of my talk is "Existential Risks and Aritifical Intelligence." It will mainly be on existential risks, which I think will be sort of my distinctive perspective on today's issue. I have quite a few slides here, so let's get to them. We can characterize risk in terms of three dimensions: Scope, which would be the number of people affected. Intensity, which would be how badly each affected person would be. And probability, the likelihood of its occuring given all the available information. So if we plot this in a diagram, we can fill it in with a number of familiar types of phenomena. Say your car is stolen, for instance. That would be an ‘endurable' personal risk, it affects one person, it's more than imperceptible. But you can still have a good life even after your car has been stolen, and you can recover from it. A ‘terminal' risk in this nomenclature would be one that could either be fatal or cause permanent harm: brain damage or lifetime imprisonment. Something like that. It dramatically and seriously curtails your potential for achieving a good life.

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