ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Netanyahu: ‘Our goal must be to ensure that AI brings more freedom, not less’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2023, in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images via AFP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2023, in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images via AFP)

After taking a pause to cough, Netanyahu moves to the promise of artificial intelligence, a topic he focused on earlier this week in a sit-down with Elon Musk.

Framing it in biblical terms “as a blessing and a curse,” he calls on the world to address the risks to make sure “the promise of an AI utopia does not turn into an AI dystopia.”

He cites the threat it could pose to democracy and the “potential eruption of AI-driven wars.”

Striking a visionary tone, he imagines the benefits in health care, aging, transportation, education and a range of other fields.

“I know this all sounds like a John Lennon song,” he says, but it is possible.

“Imagine we can achieve the end of scarcity,” he says. “It’s all within our reach.”

So, too, he says, is the possibility to “extend humanity beyond our blue planet.”

He says Israel is among the AI trailblazers.

“Just as Israel’s technological revolution provided the world with breathtaking innovation, I am confident that AI developed by Israel will benefit all of humanity.”

“Our goal must be to ensure that AI brings more freedom and not less; prevents wars, instead of starting them; and ensures that people live longer, healthier, more productive, and peaceful lives. It’s within our reach.”

Netanyahu calls on the world to preserve the human capacity for empathy, “which no machine can replace.”

He ends with an exhortation to “choose wisely between the curse and the blessing that stand before us this day. Let us harness our resolve and our courage to stop the curse of a nuclear Iran and roll back its fanaticism and aggression.

“Let us bring forth the blessings of a new Middle East that will transform lands once riven with conflict and chaos into fields of prosperity and peace. And may we avoid the perils of AI by combining the forces of human and machine intelligence to usher in a brilliant future for our world, in our time and for all time.”

With that, he concludes his speech.

Notably, Netanyahu did not address the judicial overhaul fight or Israel’s democratic values.

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