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Tunisia: President accuses artificial intelligence of ‘conspiring’ against humans

August 12, 2023 at 10:19 am

President of Tunisia, Kais Saied (2nd L) attends the Martyrs’ Day commemoration at the Sijoumi district in Tunis, Tunisia on April 09, 2023 [Tunisian Presidency – Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied sparked controversy after accusing artificial intelligence of conspiring against humans, considering it a threat to human existence.

During his supervision of the celebration of Knowledge Day on Thursday, Saied stated: “Artificial intelligence, in its essence, is an assassination of human thought. It is an imminent danger that threatens all humanity. It is like autonomous weapons and drones, which are directed by a single command and management centre.”

Saied’s statement sparked a wave of controversy and ridicule, as Abdel Wahab Hani, head of the Al-Majd Party, wrote: “Artificial intelligence in itself is neither an imminent danger nor an absolute evil or an assassination of the human mind, as the president stated. It is a tool in the hands of human intelligence, which can be utilised for good, human happiness, progress and the well-being of humanity. It can also be employed for evil and the destruction of humanity.”

Hani remarked: “Adding a new enemy represented in artificial intelligence is unfortunate and inappropriate, especially on the occasion of Knowledge Day and in the presence of outstanding men and women within the educational framework, who will deal daily with artificial intelligence in their universities, laboratories, jobs and their future lives. They will even contribute to the development and adaptation of artificial intelligence to serve humanity.”

A number of activists responded sarcastically to the president’s statement, with some suggesting that President Saied add artificial intelligence to the list of those involved in plotting against state security.

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