Ex-Google exec describes 4 top dangers of artificial intelligence

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California's Senate last week advanced a bill that would force Amazon (AMZN) to reveal details behind the productivity-tracking algorithm used in its warehouses; meanwhile, Facebook (FB) this week faced criticism over a Wall Street Journal report finding it knows its Instagram feed makes some teenage girls feel worse about themselves. These developments make up a backlash not necessarily against big tech, so much as its algorithms, which use artificial intelligence (AI) to adapt performance for individual users or employees. In a new interview, AI expert Kai-Fu Lee -- who worked as an executive at Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), and Microsoft (MSFT) -- explained the top four dangers of burgeoning AI technology: externalities, personal data risks, inability to explain consequential choices, and warfare. "The single largest danger is autonomous weapons," he says. "That's when AI can be trained to kill, and more specifically trained to assassinate," adds Lee, the co-author of a new book entitled "AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future."

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