Machine intelligence
Over past few years, advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence have led to some breathtaking developments in various fields -- Representational Image FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

In a fresh warning about AI, a UN research institute has said that machine intelligence and robotics could destabilise the world, according to a report in the Guardian.

The scary-as-hell warning from the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) comes ahead of the opening of Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in The Hague – UN's first centre focused towards artificial intelligence as well as the possible risks that could arise from such technologies.

Highlighting the need for the office in an interview with Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf, Irakli Beridze, senior strategic adviser at UNICRI, said, AI developments were associated with great risks that need addressing. "If societies do not adapt quickly enough, this can cause instability".

Over past few years, advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence have led to some breathtaking developments in various fields.

However, the same technology has also raised a plethora of legal, ethical and societal concerns, some of which may even prove hazardous for the well-being and safety of humans – for instance, mass unemployment or the rise of autonomous 'killer robots'. To address these, the new UN office will be tasked to look and predict AI-related threats.

But that's not the only task the new team will be assigned to perform. Along with potential risks, they will also explore the plausible benefits from machine intelligence. The adviser stressed on this point noting that the new centre would also seek to employ AI advances to help achieve UN's targets.

"One of our most important tasks is to set up a network of experts from business, knowledge institutes, civil society organizations and governments," he added. "We certainly do not want to plead for a ban or a brake on technologies. We will also explore how new technology can contribute to the sustainable development goals of the UN. For this we want to start concrete projects. We will not be a talking club."

China, Russia, and the United States are already in the race of AI development. The nations are striving towards building autonomous weapon systems – machines which would have the capability to determine their course of action without human control.

However, technology luminaries have repeatedly flagged the risks associated with the integration of AI with weapon systems. Back in August, over 100 leaders, including billionaire Elon Musk, urged the UN to act against the development and use of lethal autonomous weapons, which "threaten to become the third revolution in warfare".