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Google’s ex-boss Schmidt says killer AI just 1 or 2 decades away

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MUNICH — Google’s former chief executive Eric Schmidt has sadi that a terminator-style artificial intelligence scenarios are just ‘one or two decades away’ as AI technology is developing so quickly it may soon turn against humans.

“Everyone immediately then wants to talk about all the movie-inspired death scenarios, and I can confidently predict to you that they are one to two decades away. So let’s worry about them, but let’s worry about them in a while,” Schmidt told the crowd at the Munich Security Conference in February, as cited by Defense News.

Schmidt, now a fellow at MIT since stepping down as a Google executive in January this year, presents a more realist, rather than alarmist, take on the development of AI.

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He maintains that the benefits far outweigh the risks when it comes to AI and that we as a species merely need to keep a tight leash on any and all advancements. He recently highlighted how Google is helping to prevent blindness in diabetics using AI.

China has already begun working on a national AI program and hopes to become the world leader in the technology in the next decade.

Mr Schmidt warned that Europe and the US lagged far behind the Chinese when it came to resource and investment in the field.

The billionaire tech entrepreneur, Elon Musk, has also voiced fears over the potential threat AI technology poses.

“If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea,” he said last year.

Agencies

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Scientists find 27 new viruses in bees

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WASHINGTON — A team of international researchers have discovered 27 new, previously unknown viruses in bees.

The finding, published in journal Scientific Reports, could help scientists design strategies to prevent the spread of viral pathogens among these important pollinators.

“Populations of bees around the world are declining, and viruses are known to contribute to these declines,” said David Galbraith, research scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb and a recent Penn State graduate.

“Despite the importance of bees as pollinators of flowering plants in agricultural and natural landscapes and the importance of viruses to bee health, our understanding of bee viruses is surprisingly limited.”

For the study, the team collected samples of DNA and RNA, which is responsible for the synthesis of proteins, from 12 bee species in nine countries across the world to investigate viruses in bees.

ALSO READ :  Scientists find 27 new viruses in bees

They, then, developed a technique that efficiently detected both previously identified and 27 never-seen-before viruses belonging to at least six new families in a single experiment.

Among the new viruses the team identified was one that is similar to a virus that infects plants.

“It is possible that bees may acquire viruses from plants, and could then spread these viruses to other plants, posing a risk to agricultural crops,” said Christina Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State.

The team also found that some of the viruses exist in multiple bee species — such as in honey bees and in bumble bees.
Galbraith added, “This finding highlights the importance of monitoring bee populations brought into the United States due to the potential for these species to transmit viruses to local pollinator populations.”

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