The billionaire co-founder of Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence technology, Mustafa Suleyman, has warned the public that AI is being used for genetic engineering to trigger a “super-pandemic.”
Suleyman warns that an AI-developed super-pandemic is one of the biggest threats facing the human race.
He issued the warning in an episode of the “Diary of a CEO” podcast.
According to Suleyman, scientists are scrambling to engineer a deadly pandemic, such as a modified variant of COVID-19, to unleash before the end of this decade.
The warning from Suleyman comes amid increasing fears that another pandemic may trigger widespread lockdowns and mandates ahead of the 2024 election.
Suleyman added that in the next five years or so, a regular person could easily download the instruction set for a pandemic that’s “more lethal” than anything the world has encountered so far.
He warned that this is why the world needs “containment.”
Technology is evolving quickly and Suleyman added that it is crucial to “limit access to the tools and the know-how to carry out that kind of experimentation,” especially since many people are often “experimenting with dangerous materials,” he said.
Something dangerous like anthrax can’t be bought over the internet, making it hard to freely experiment with.
But while it is difficult to turn anthrax into a weapon of mass destruction, it is possible to grow the bacteria in a lab and distribute small quantities piecemeal, even through the mail.
According to Norman Cheville, dean of Iowa State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, growing anthrax is easy and you can even grow it overnight.
Until the mid-1990s, the U.S. government didn’t keep detailed information on who shared and sold samples of anthrax and other dangerous bacteria. In the mid-1980s, before the Persian Gulf War, the not-for-profit biological supply company American Type Culture Collection sold three strains of anthrax to Iraq. Some say Iraq used the bacteria to create biological weapons.
In 1995, Larry Wayne Harris, a laboratory worker at Ohio State University obtained three vials of bubonic plague from American Type by falsifying university letterhead.
Harris pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. He was a member of Aryan Nations, a white supremacist group, and he claimed to have cultivated anthrax by taking samples from a 20-year-old burial site for cattle that had died of the disease.
Congress realized that lab controls were lax and it passed a law in 1996 that strictly limits the interstate shipment of anthrax and other pathogenic strains.
Researchers who plan to work with anthrax must first receive a license from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Shippers must also inform the government when they send an anthrax sample while researchers must acknowledge receipt.
According to Suleyman, in a few years, the very best of these tools could “be capable of creating new synthetic pandemic pathogens,” emphasizing the need to “restrict access to those things.”
When talking about the future of genetic engineering, Suleyman said the darkest scenario is that people will experiment with synthetic pathogens that could end up “accidentally or intentionally being more transmissible.”
They can spread faster, or be more lethal.
Suleyman also warned that advanced AI technology is getting cheaper and easier to obtain at an alarming rate because the tech is being made “open.”
This means anyone can get their hands on the technology and people can use it to help them cheat on their exams or develop a virus that could paralyze the world.
Suleyman also highlighted the need for an international treaty with “America’s perceived enemies such as Russia and China.”
Such a treaty could help limit the use of advanced AI and genetic manipulation (genetic modification/genetic engineering).