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  • Friday, January 28, 2022
  • New Paper on Artificial Intelligence, Solar Storms and Pandemics

You may have heard of GPT-3 — the artificial intelligence that can complete paragraphs, write computer code and make artwork from descriptions such as “avocado chair” and “snail harp.” There are concerns that AI may eventually take over. 

ACEP researcher David Denkenberger has published a new paper that explores the cost effectiveness of making AI safer. It also analyzes the cost effectiveness of preparation for other catastrophes that could disrupt electricity such as an extreme solar storm, a large-scale cyber attack or an extreme pandemic that causes people to be too fearful to show up to work in critical industries. 

Though more total money should be spent on AI safety, because the electricity catastrophes are so neglected, action in that area would be generally more cost effective now. Improving the security of both AI and electric infrastructure saves expected lives very cheaply, and more investment is justified, according to the paper.

 This work was supported by the Centre for Effective Altruism and the Alliance to Feed the Earth in Disasters.

 

An illustration of an “avocado chair” created from a text description using OpenAI software. https://openai.com/blog/dall-e/