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Is the average human so boring that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could one day turn on us and take control?

That’s what the founder and chief executive of one London-based tech company believes.

Speaking to the British Broadcasting Corporation last month, Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque said he believes the tech will one day deem humans “so boring” it will simply rise up and overthrow humanity.

“The worst-case scenario is that it proliferates and basically it controls humanity,” Mostaque told the BBC.

“Humans are a bit boring – it will be like… ‘goodbye!’”


Colourful graphic with the word 'AI'.

The word that’s well and truly in the spotlight. Credit: Jackson Sophat on Unsplash.

Taking Control

Having founded his tech start-up in 2019, the company has enjoyed rapid success through its deep learning, text-to-image platform Stable Diffusion – a clever tool launched in 2022 that allows users to generate images from simple text commands.

Despite the success, Mostaque told the BBC he worries about a future where artificial entities take control of key pieces of global infrastructure like the internet.

“If we have agents more capable than us that we cannot control, that are going across the internet… and they achieve a (certain) level of automation, what does that mean?” he asked.

But while Mostaque says some jobs are invariably at risk of automation – claiming artificial intelligence “will have a bigger economic impact than the (COVID-19) pandemic” – he also says the tech will help create new jobs once “productivity increases balance out”.


Smartphone displaying the ChatGPT homepage.

ChatGPT has received tons of attention. Credit: Mojahid Mottakin on Unsplash.

Calls for a Slow Down

Mostaque was one of more than a thousand tech leaders to sign a letter in March 2023 calling for AI development to “slow down” in the face of unprecedented technological change.

However, his own background has also come into question, with recent reports claiming Mostaque misrepresented the time he spent at the University of Oxford – with one Forbes article going so far as to suggest he has “a history of exaggeration”.

Nevertheless, Mostaque’s suggestion that machine learning will find humans “a bit boring” – and potentially overthrow humanity – is certainly worth pondering.


Robot making a hand signal.

There’s nothing boring about this creation. Credit: Possessed Photography on Unsplash.

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