Dozens of scientists, entrepreneurs and investors involved in the field of artificial intelligence, including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk, have signed an open letter warning that greater focus is needed on its safety and social benefits.

The letter and an accompanying paper from the Future of Life Institute, which suggests research priorities for “robust and beneficial” artificial intelligence, come amid growing nervousness about the impact on jobs or even humanity’s long-term survival from machines whose intelligence and capabilities could exceed those of the people who created them.

“Because of the great potential of AI, it is important to research how to reap its benefits while avoiding potential pitfalls,” the FLI’s letter says. “Our AI systems must do what we want them to do.”

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