his concerns that the rise of powerful artificial intelligence (AI) systems could spell the end for humanity. Speaking at the launch of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Future of Intelligence on 19 October, he did, however, acknowledge that AI equally has the potential to be one of the best things that could happen to us. By Bradley Love, UCL So are we on the cusp of creating super-intelligent machines that could put humanity at existential risk? There are those who believe that AI will be a boom for humanity, improving health services and productivity as well as freeing us from mundane tasks. However, the most vocal leaders in academia and industry are convinced that the danger of our own creations turning on us is real. For example, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has set up a billion-dollar non-profit company with contributions from tech titans, such as Amazon, to prevent an evil AI from bringing about the end of humanity. Universities, such as Berkeley, Oxford and Cambridge have established institutes to address the issue. Luminaries like Bill Joy, Bill Gates and Ray Kurzweil have all raised the alarm. Listening to this, it seems the end may indeed be nigh unless we act before it’s too late.