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AI Research Considerations for Human Existential Safety (ARCHES)

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Framed in positive terms, this report examines how technical AI research might be steered in a manner that is more attentive to humanity's long-term prospects for survival as a species. In negative terms, we ask what existential risks humanity might face from AI development in the next century, and by what principles contemporary technical research might be directed to address those risks. A key property of hypothetical AI technologies is introduced, called \emph{prepotence}, which is useful for delineating a variety of potential existential risks from artificial intelligence, even as AI paradigms might shift. A set of \auxref{dirtot} contemporary research \directions are then examined for their potential benefit to existential safety. Each research direction is explained with a scenario-driven motivation, and examples of existing work from which to build. The research directions present their own risks and benefits to society that could occur at various scales of impact, and in particular are not guaranteed to benefit existential safety if major developments in them are deployed without adequate forethought and oversight. As such, each direction is accompanied by a consideration of potentially negative side effects.