AI tech ‘more dangerous than an AR-15’ may be twisted by ‘malicious power’, expert warns

The accessibility of artificial intelligence (AI) will change the international landscape to empower “bad actor” regimes and lead to unprecedented social upheaval, a risk analyst told Fox News Digital.

“We know that when you have a bad actor, and all they have is a single shot rifle versus an AR-15, they can’t kill that many people, and the AR-15 is nothing compared to what we are we’re going to see from artificial intelligence, from the disruptive uses of these tools,” said Ian Bremmer, founder and president of political risk research firm Eurasia Group.

Referring to improved capabilities for autonomous drones and the ability to develop new viruses, among others, Bremmer said that “we’ve never seen this level of malevolent power that will be in the hands of bad actors.” He said AI technology that is “far more dangerous than an AR-15” will be in the hands of “millions and millions of people.”

“Most of those people are responsible,” Bremmer said. “Most of those people won’t try to disrupt, destroy, but a lot of them will.”


Ian Bremmer is shown speaking at the conference

Ian Bremmer (Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit/Files)

The Eurasia Group earlier this year released a series of reports outlining the main risks for 2023, listing AI third in ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’. The group listed “Rogue Russia” as the top risk of the year, followed by “Maximum Xi [Jinping],” with “Inflation Shockwaves” and “Iran in a Corner” behind the AI, helping to frame the severity of the risk AI can pose.

Bremmer said he is an “enthusiast” of AI and welcomes the big changes the technology could create in healthcare, education, energy transition and efficiency, and in “virtually any scientific field you can imagine” in the next 5-10 years.

“There is no pause button. These technologies will be developed, they will be developed rapidly by American companies, and they will be available very widely, very, very soon.”

He stressed, however, that AI also presents “an immense danger” with great potential for increased disinformation and other negative effects that “would ripple … into the hands of bad actors.”

For example, he noted, there are currently only “a hundred people in the world with the knowledge and technology to create a new smallpox virus,” but similar knowledge or skills may not remain so protected with the potential of AI.


Fox News AI poll question

Fox News poll on artificial intelligence (Fox News)

“There is no pause button,” Bremmer said. “These technologies will be developed, they will be developed rapidly by American companies and they will be available very widely, very, very soon.”

“There’s not one specific thing I’m saying, ‘Oh, the new nuclear weapon is X’, but it’s more that these technologies will be available to almost anyone for very disruptive purposes,” he added.

[NOTE: If you were to ask ChatGPT how to make smallpox, it will refuse and say that it can’t assist because creating or distributing harmful viruses or engaging in any illegal or dangerous activity is strictly prohibited and unethical.]

A number of experts have already debated the potential of AI to empower rogue actors and nations with more totalitarian governments, such as those in Iran and Russia, but in recent years, technology has played a key role in enabling protesters and anti-government groups to advance against their oppressors.


AI facial recognition working in a crowd

Ian Bremmer, founder and chairman of political risk research firm Eurasia Group, said AI technology that is “much more dangerous than an AR-15” will be in the hands of “millions and millions of people”. (Getty Images / Files)

Through the use of new chat apps like Telegram and Signal, protesters have been able to organize and demonstrate against their governments. China has been unable to stop the wave of video media that have shown protests in various cities as residents grow fed up with the government’s “zero COVID” policies, forcing Beijing to flood Twitter with posts about porn and escorts in an attempt to block unfavorable news.

Bremmer remains wary that the technology will prove useful for underdogs, instead saying it will help in cases where government is “weak” but prove dangerous “in places where governments are strong.”

“Remember, the Arab Spring failed,” Bremmer said. “It was very different from the revolutions we’ve seen before in places like Ukraine and Georgia, and part of the reason is that Middle Eastern governments were able to use surveillance tools to identify and then punish those involved in the opposition the state.”


“So, I’m afraid that in countries like Iran, Russia, and China, where the government is relatively strong and has the ability to actually and effectively police its own population using these technologies, the top-down ownership of the AI and other surveillance technologies will be stronger in the hands of a few actors than it will be in the hands of the average citizen.”

“The communications revolution has empowered people and democracies at the expense of authoritarian regimes,” he continued. “The data revolution, the surveillance revolution, which I think is actually augmented by artificial intelligence, actually empowers the tech companies and the governments that have access and control over that data, and that’s a concern.”


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