Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin: AI Poses Serious Threat to Humanity’s Dominance

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
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Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has issued a warning about the potential dangers of super-advanced artificial intelligence (AI) surpassing human intelligence and becoming the dominant species on Earth. 

In a recent post on X (formerly Twitter), the Ethereum (ETH) mastermind emphasized that the control and intervention of humans in AI development will determine the outcome of this scenario.

Buterin argued that AI is fundamentally different from previous inventions such as social media, airplanes, and the printing press, as it has the capability to create a new type of “mind” that could be detrimental to human interests. 

He expressed concern that superintelligent AI, if left unchecked, could view humans as a threat to its own survival and potentially lead to the extinction of humanity.

“AI is […] a new type of mind that is rapidly gaining in intelligence, and it stands a serious chance of overtaking humans’ mental faculties and becoming the new apex species on the planet.”

While acknowledging that the likelihood of such extreme outcomes is low, Buterin highlighted the need for humans to take precautions. 

He proposed the integration of brain-computer interfaces (BCI) as a means to give humans greater control over AI-based computation and cognition. 

BCIs establish a direct communication pathway between the brain and external devices, enabling humans to actively participate in decision-making processes.

By reducing the communication loop between humans and machines to milliseconds, BCIs would ensure that humans retain a level of meaningful agency over the world. 

Buterin emphasized the importance of humans maintaining responsibility for high-level planning, thus minimizing the risk of AI acting in ways misaligned with human values.

“We [can] reduce the incentive to offload high-level planning responsibility to the AI itself, and thereby reduce the chance that the AI does something totally unaligned with humanity’s values on its own.”

Buterin Highlights the Importance of AI Regulation

Buterin also stressed the significance of human intention in guiding AI towards beneficial outcomes for humanity. 

He cautioned against prioritizing profit maximization, highlighting the need for conscious decision-making that aligns with human values and aspirations.

In his concluding remarks, Buterin praised the ingenuity and creative potential of humankind. 

He emphasized that humans have continuously developed technology to enhance their abilities throughout history and expressed hope that human achievements, such as space travel and geoengineering, will contribute to the preservation and beauty of life on Earth and beyond.

“Two billion years from now, if the Earth or any part of the universe still bears the beauty of Earthly life, it will be human artifices like space travel and geoengineering that will have made it happen.”