Rogue states and terrorists could cause havoc using artificial intelligence, experts warn

Rogue states and terrorists could cause havoc using artificial intelligence unless preparations are made against the malicious use of the technology, experts have warned.

Twenty-six experts on AI, security and technology suggest in a report that cyber-crime could rapidly increase in years to come.

They forecast artificially intelligent bots being used to manipulate the news agenda, social media and elections as well as the hijacking of drones and autonomous vehicles.

The report, titled The Malicious Use of Artificial Intelligence: Forecasting, Prevention, and Mitigation, also warns of the rise of "highly believable fake videos" impersonating prominent figures or faking events to manipulate public opinion around political events.

AI software features prominently in modern life - from virtual assistants such as Amazon's Alexa and many smartphone features, as well as in driverless car technology, to industrial-scale data processing

Dr Sean O hEigeartaigh said the report sets out the practices that no longer work and suggests future approaches to ensure AI is safer.

Policy makers and researchers are urged to work together to understand and prepare for how the technology could be used maliciously, and developers are told to be mindful of how AI could be misused.

Those who contributed to the study include the Elon Musk-founded non-profit research firm OpenAI and international digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Tech figures such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have differing views on the risks of AI Credit: AP

Tesla and SpaceX founder Mr Musk is a prominent voice on the dangers of the misuse of artificial intelligence, warning it could threaten the existence of humans if allowed to grow too rapidly.

Several prominent technology figures, including Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, have however spoken out in favour of artificial intelligence.

Zuckerberg said last year he was "optimistic" on the future application of the technology.