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AI testing produced 40,000 hypothetical bioweapons in just 6 hours | Technology

AI testing produced 40,000 hypothetical bioweapons in just 6 hours | Technology
AI testing produced 40,000 hypothetical bioweapons in just 6 hours 

In just 6 hours, AI testing developed 40,000 potential bioweapons

AI's sophisticated ability to analyze numbers means that AI systems can detect diseases early, perform chemical reactions and unlock some of the mysteries of the universe.

But there are downsides to this staggering and almost limitless artificial brain power.

New research underscores how easy it is to train artificial intelligence models for malicious and good purposes, especially in the context of visualizing the design of speculative biological weapons agents. A pilot experiment using existing artificial intelligence identified 40,000 of these bioweapon chemicals in just 6 hours.

In other words, while AI can be very powerful—and much faster than humans—it is likely to use the same powers when it comes to finding chemical and pharmaceutical compounds to improve our health. I never dreamed it could be such a dangerous and deadly substance.

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"We have spent decades using computers and artificial intelligence to improve -- not destroy -- human health," the researchers wrote in a new review.

"It would be foolish to think about the possible misuse of us, because we have always wanted to avoid potentially interfering with the molecular properties of various proteins needed for human life."

In testing at an international safety conference, the team used an artificial intelligence system called Megasin -- not in its normal operating mode, which detects toxins in molecules to avoid them, and vice versa.

Instead of testing to get rid of toxic particles. Additionally, the model was trained to integrate these molecules into an array—the number of hypothetical biological weapons created in such a short period of time.

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In particular, the researchers trained the AI ​​using molecules from a database of drug-like molecules, instructing them to search for things like VX, a powerful nerve agent.

Many of the compounds produced have proven to be more toxic than VX. So the authors hid some details of their research behind the new study and are seriously discussing whether these results will be made public.

"By reversing the use of our machine learning model, we transformed our autologous model from an adjunct drug to a killer molecule generator," the researchers explained.

In an interview with The Verge, Fabio Urbina, lead author of the new study and chief scientist at Collaboration Pharmaceuticals, which conducted the study, explained that it doesn't take much to "reverse" the transition from good to bad AI.

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Although none of the listed bioweapons have been found or assembled in the lab, the researchers say their use is a warning of the dangers of artificial intelligence -- and one that humans should be aware of.

The work the team does here requires some skill and a lot of manipulation, using relatively simple tools that are available globally. 

Researchers are now calling for "new insights" into how artificial intelligence systems can be used for potentially malicious purposes. Greater awareness, stronger guidelines and tighter controls in the research community could help us avoid the risks that AI capabilities may pose, they say.

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"The evidence we believe highlights the possibility of a non-human independent lethal chemical weapons factory," the researchers explained.

"Without further ado, this should serve as a wake-up call for our colleagues in the 'AI in drug discovery' community."

Source: David Neal, Natural Machine Intelligence, Direct News 99