On Controllability of AI

Yampolskiy, Roman V.

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence 

The unprecedented progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) [1-6], over the last decade, came alongside of multiple AI failures [7, 8] and cases of dual use [9] causing a realization [10] that it is not sufficient to create highly capable machines, but that it is even more important to make sure that intelligent machines are beneficial [11] for the humanity. This lead to the birth of the new subfield of research commonly known as AI Safety and Security [12] with hundreds of papers and books published annually on different aspects of the problem [13-31]. All such research is done under the assumption that the problem of controlling highly capable intelligent machines is solvable, which has not been established by any rigorous means. However, it is a standard practice in computer science to first show that a problem doesn't belong to a class of unsolvable problems [32, 33] before investing resources into trying to solve it or deciding what approaches to try. Unfortunately, to the best of our knowledge no mathematical proof or even rigorous argumentation has been published demonstrating that the AI control problem may be solvable, even in principle, much less in practice. Or as Gans puts it citing Bostrom: "Thusfar, AI researchers and philosophers have not been able to come up with methods of control that would ensure [bad] outcomes did not take place …" [34].

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