Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Existential Threat to Human Race says University of Oxford Research

Machines to wipe out humans in future as depicted Terminator movies

Fiction is a imagination of fertile mine but it seems that fiction can be true someday. In the movie series Terminator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, it was depicted that machines or Artificial Intelligence (AI) would wipe out human race in some unforeseen future.  Well, Oxford researchers believe that this may indeed happen.

A team of researchers from University of Oxford has come up with a list of  reasons which, they say, are a existential threat to the entire “human race” and feel AIs possesses maximum potential to destroy human race.

A recent report put up by the Oxford University Researchers pointed towards 12 major risks that threaten to end the human civilization.

These reasons could be clubbed in the following 4 categories:

  • a) Current Risks which would include the extreme and uncertain climatic conditions, Nuclear war, catastrophic ecological situation and to Global Pandemic and system collapse due to disastrous diseases;
  • b) Outer risks (Exogenous) like the super volcanoes and the Asteroid impacts;
  • c) Emerging Risks (man made) includes synthetic biology, nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence and others yet to be announced i.e. uncertain risks;
  • d) Global policy risk which would mean an overall bad global governance.

Authors Dennis Pamlin and Dr Stuart Armstrong have mentioned these risks clearly and have also provided 10 possible solutions to lessen the effect of these risks.

While all the 12 risks are infinite threats to human race, the category of Emerging risks is dangerous. “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) seems to be possessing huge potential to deliberately work towards extinction of human race. Though, synthetic biology and nanotechnology along with AI could be possibly be an answer to many existing problems however if used in wrong way it could probably be the worst tool against humanity.

“Artificial Intelligence” (AI) term was coined by John McCarthy in 1955, which means creating a “super intelligent software” or machine, that is a combination of science and engineering in such a way that a machine would act and think like a human or even beyond.

Elon Musk who is CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX and a co founder of PayPal has over and again warned against the threats of AI. Musk refers the AI to be “biggest existential threat to humanity”. In his recent speech addressed to the students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Musk compared the AIs to the “Demons”.  He firmly believes that if these “super intelligent computers” start to work on themselves then they could emerge into uncontrollable demons.

In his recent speech to the MIT students he noted that,

“I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful. I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.”

Musk along with Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher have invested in Vicarious, a firm which is aiming at building a smart intelligent computer which will  think like a human! Musk says he has invested in this company only to ensure that the end product created will be a “good super intelligent computer” and not some “disastrous monster”.

So besides Musk and Oxford University researchers,  Stephen Hawking (who has already manufactured “speech synthesizer” using AI as a base and is a renowned Physicist) feels that the AIs do have a potential to evolve themselves into a vital threatening agents to the human race.

As of now Eric Horvitz, a computer scientist along with Russ Altman, a professor of bioengineering and computer science at Stanford, together have come up with the idea of forming a committee named “AI100” and basic aim of this committee is too keep a close eye on the different developments of AI and also its overall result on the human race.

Human Intelligence surely can make “super intelligent machines” however can we control the “thinking” of these AIs?  Time will let us know about it, if we exist,or are terminated!

Maya Kamath
Maya Kamath
Content writer with unending love to pen down my thoughts and views regarding the new technological inventions as well as probe into the current affairs. Feel as if i am free bird who can actually live life at my pace.


  1. Has the potential to be an Interesting article however the English employed in the story is so appalling that it distracts the reader from enjoying the read. If you’re a content publisher, at least try to get the language right as publishing rubbish like this is so frustrating and distracting to your readers.


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