What are the potential benefits of advanced AI?

If we manage to build powerful AI safely — avoiding misalignment and other major risks — it could be hugely beneficial to humanity. Advanced AI could help us:

  • Automate the majority of human labor, resulting in unprecedented growth in production and wealth. If this wealth is appropriately distributed, this could lead to a society of abundance, leisure, and flourishing, free of poverty and tedium.

  • Make breakthroughs in biology,[1] leading to improvements in human health and agricultural science.

  • Solve a wide range of engineering problems, such as:

    • Producing abundant cheap energy through, e.g., nuclear fusion.

    • Mitigating climate change by making existing strategies (like carbon capture) more affordable, or by enabling new technologies.

    • Enabling space colonization.

Many people who work on AI existential safety are deeply motivated by the bright futures AI could help us reach, and want to ensure that humanity avoids the existential risks that would bar us from those futures.

  1. For instance, DeepMind’s AlphaFold has made great strides towards solving the protein-folding problem. ↩︎