A lobby group backed by Elon Musk and associated with a controversial ideology popular among tech billionaires is fighting to prevent killer robots from terminating humanity, and it’s taken hold of Europe’s Artificial Intelligence Act to do so.
The Future of Life Institute (FLI) has over the past year made itself a force of influence on some of the AI Act’s most contentious elements. Despite the group’s links to Silicon Valley, Big Tech giants like Google and Microsoft have found themselves on the losing side of FLI’s arguments.
In the EU bubble, the arrival of a group whose actions are colored by fear of AI-triggered catastrophe rather than run-of-the-mill consumer protection concerns was received like a spaceship alighting in the Schuman roundabout. Some worry that the institute embodies a techbro-ish anxiety about low-probability threats that could divert attention from more immediate problems. But most agree that during its time in Brussels, the FLI has been effective.