Civilization V video game mod: Superintelligent AI

05 January 2018

Researchers from the University of Cambridge's Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) have released a mod for Civilization V that introduces superintelligent AI into the popular video game.

In the modified game, artificial intelligence initially provides benefits, and eventually can turn into superintelligence that brings mastery of science to its discoverer. However, if there is too little investment in AI safety research, rogue superintelligence can destroy humanity and bring an instant loss of the game.

“We want to let players experience the complex tensions and difficult decisions that the path to superintelligent AI would generate,” said the CSER’s Dr. Shahar Avin, who managed the project.

“Games are an excellent way to deliver a complex message to a wide audience. The Civilization games series has an amazing track record of presenting very complex and interlocking systems in a fun and educating way, including major risk issues such as nuclear war and global warming.”

The mod was made by developer Shai Shapira. You can download it from the Steam Workshop in versions for either regular Civilization V or with the Brave New World expansion.

The launch has been covered in several places, including:

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