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How Do AI Timelines Affect Existential Risk?

by   Stephen McAleese, et al.

Superhuman artificial general intelligence could be created this century and would likely be a significant source of existential risk. Delaying the creation of superintelligent AI (ASI) could decrease total existential risk by increasing the amount of time humanity has to work on the AI alignment problem. However, since ASI could reduce most risks, delaying the creation of ASI could also increase other existential risks, especially from advanced future technologies such as synthetic biology and molecular nanotechnology. If AI existential risk is high relative to the sum of other existential risk, delaying the creation of ASI will tend to decrease total existential risk and vice-versa. Other factors such as war and a hardware overhang could increase AI risk and cognitive enhancement could decrease AI risk. To reduce total existential risk, humanity should take robustly positive actions such as working on existential risk analysis, AI governance and safety, and reducing all sources of existential risk by promoting differential technological development.


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