Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt says AI poses an 'existential risk' that could kill or harm 'many, many people'
- Eric Schmidt said advanced artificial intelligence posed an "existential risk" to humans.
- He told a Wall Street Journal conference he was impressed at the speed of recent AI development.
Eric Schmidt warned advanced artificial intelligence posed an "existential risk" that could kill or harm "many, many people."
The former Google CEO told The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council: "My concern with AI is actually existential, and existential risk is defined as many, many, many, many people harmed or killed. And there are scenarios not today but reasonably soon, where these systems will be able to find zero-day exploits in cyber issues or discover new kinds of biology."
Schmidt also said that governments needed to ensure the technology was not "misused by evil people."
He was chief executive at Google from 2001 to 2011, and later served as executive chairman until 2015. Schmidt also headed up the US national security commission on AI.
AI anxiety has risen in recent months. Several high-profile tech figures, including Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak have issued warnings about its potential dangers, citing concerns about the spread of misinformation and widespread automation of jobs.
Schmidt said he was impressed at the speed of AI development in recent months but pushed back on fears that it will eliminate jobs.
He said: "Here are the facts. We are not having enough children, and we have not been having enough children for long enough that there is a demographic crisis where people who are my age are going to be taken care of by younger generations."
He continued: "In aggregate, all the demographics say there's going to be a shortage of humans for jobs. Literally too many jobs and not enough people for at least the next 30 years."
Representatives for Schmidt did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, made outside normal working hours.
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