Will we be wiped out by machine overlords? Maybe we need a game plan now

JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: the fears around the development of artificial intelligence. Computer superintelligence is a long, long way from the stuff of sci-fi movies, but several high-profile leaders and thinkers have been worrying quite publicly about what they see as the risks to come. Our economics correspondent, Paul Solman, explores that. It’s part of his weekly series, Making Sense. ACTOR: I want to talk to you about the greatest scientific event in the history of man. ACTOR: Are you building an A.I.? PAUL SOLMAN: A.I., artificial intelligence. ACTRESS: Do you think I might be switched off? ACTOR: It’s not up to me. ACTRESS: Why is it up to anyone? PAUL SOLMAN: Some version of this scenario has had prominent tech luminaries and scientists worried for years. In 2014, cosmologist Stephen Hawking told the BBC: STEPHEN HAWKING, Scientist (through computer voice): I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. PAUL SOLMAN: And just this week, Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk told the ®MDNM¯National Governors Association: ELON MUSK, CEO, Tesla Motors: A.I. is a fundamental existential risk for human civilization. And I don’t think people fully appreciate that. PAUL SOLMAN: OK, but what’s…

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