At its annual CEO Summit, Yale School of Management conducted a survey amongst 119 CEOs from a varying range of sectors. 42% of candidates believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) could destroy humanity in the next 5-10 years.

The survey breakdown is as follows: 34% of CEOs said AI could potentially destroy humanity in ten years, 8% said it could happen in five, and 58% said it could never happen and that they are ‘not worried’.

In an interview with CNN business, Yale professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld expressed the findings as “pretty dark and alarming.”

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The survey comes shortly after monumental announcements from big players in the field. The ‘Godfather of AI’, Geoffrey Hinton, who oversaw the development of technology at the heart of chatbots like ChatGPT for 50 years, left his job at Google to “blow the whistle”, warning people of the serious harm that could potentially be caused by AI.

In a television interview, Hinton explains how he suddenly realized AI is smarter than humans and warns that, since it knows how to program, it could bypass restrictions set by humans. Moreover, he expressed fears that AI could manipulate humans to do its bidding.

When questioned about solutions and regulations, Hinton countered, “It’s not clear to me that we can solve the problem. You can’t stop the progress.” However, he stressed that it is of utmost importance for governments and scientists to prioritise discovering a solution.

Hinton is joined by the likes of Sam Altman, who was one of the hundreds of signatories of a joint statement calling for society to take the necessary steps to guard against the dangers of AI. Altman is the CEO of OpenAI, the site that introduced AI-powered tools like ChatGPT and Dall-E.

Top executives from Google and Microsoft also signed the statement.

The CEOs present at the Yale Summit indicated that AI will have the most transformative impact in three key industries: healthcare, professional services/IT, and media/digital. More immediate impacts of AI would pertain to risks of misinformation and the loss of jobs.