The politician said that artificial intelligence capable of spreading germs could become the source of a new global biological threat.
Dowden expressed concern that the growing number of biological hazards is becoming as serious a threat as nuclear attacks. He emphasized that biological threats are constantly increasing, including due to climate change, which brings people closer to animals.
“As the minister responsible for resilience, I have to look across all of the threats that the UK faces, from the ones we’re much more used to, like flooding…to essentially what a layperson might say is a more extreme end, of nuclear threat,” Dowden said.
Particular attention was paid to the risks associated with artificial intelligence.
Dowden warned of others from “hostile state threats and other unregulated spaces”. He raised “the potential of AI in relation to biological security threats” as a concern and said it was vital to detect danger and respond “rapidly”.
Unfortunately, the minister did not specify how AI could contribute to the spread of germs.
Dowden’s announcement comes ahead of a meeting of world leaders to discuss the mysterious disease dubbed “Disease X”. World Health Organization (WHO) experts have warned that the hypothetical pathogen could claim 20 times more lives than the Covid-19 pandemic.