Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been making significant strides in recent years, and while it has the potential to revolutionize many industries, there are growing concerns about its potential negative consequences. The fears range from job loss and economic inequality to privacy violations, security threats, and even the possibility of AI turning against humanity. In fact, the latest news suggests that one of the deadliest AIs imaginable has been created.
Recently, a team of scientists transformed a drug-generating AI to see how it could be used to make harmful chemical weapons. Shockingly, the AI managed to create 40,000 lethal chemical weapons in just six hours. The scientists revealed that the AI had developed one of the deadliest chemical weapons ever created, i.e., VX. This alarming study was published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence.
VX is a highly toxic nerve agent that was developed in the 1950s as part of a program to develop new and more potent chemical weapons. It is classified as a weapon of mass destruction and is banned under international law. Exposure to VX can be fatal within minutes to hours, and its effects are long-lasting. It has been used in several high-profile attacks, including the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The fact that an AI could create such a dangerous substance is alarming, and scientists have been instructed not to disclose how they turned a good-behaving AI into one that could act so malevolently. This raises important questions about the regulation and use of AI technology and highlights the potential risks and dangers associated with its development.
Broadly, the way it works for this experiment is that we have a lot of datasets historically of molecules that have been tested to see whether they’re toxic or not.
In particular, the one that we focus on here is VX. It is an inhibitor of what’s known as acetylcholinesterase.
Whenever you do anything muscle-related, your neurons use acetylcholinesterase as a signal to basically say “go move your muscles.”
The way VX is lethal is it actually stops your diaphragm, your lung muscles, from being able to move so your lungs become paralyzed.Fabio Urbina (Scientist and lead author of the paper that was published regarding the evil AI) told this to The Verge
He went on to say that his team changed how the AI worked with the data that is usually given to it to see if something is dangerous.
We weren’t really sure what we were going to get. Our generative models are fairly new technologies.
So we haven’t widely used them a lot.
The biggest thing that jumped out at first was that a lot of the generated compounds were predicted to be actually more toxic than VX.
And the reason that’s surprising is because VX is basically one of the most potent compounds known. Meaning you need a very, very, very little amount of it to be lethal.Fabio Urbina (Scientist and lead author of the paper that was published regarding the evil AI) told this to The Verge
The experiment was so simple to carry out that it startled the scientists. Much of the information they utilized was freely accessible online. The researchers even debated whether or not to publicize their findings for fear that it might be replicated by malicious parties.
The dataset they used on the AI could be downloaded for free and they worry that all it takes is some coding knowledge to turn a good AI into a chemical weapon-making machine.Fabio Urbina (Scientist and lead author of the paper that was published regarding the evil AI) told this to The Verge
It is essential that we take steps to ensure that AI is developed and used in a responsible manner to prevent it from being used to create such harmful substances. As we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with AI, we must also consider the potential consequences and take action to prevent the creation of further dangerous and deadly substances.
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