Might anyone use AI to destroy human civilization?

There is a recent history of individuals and groups that have attempted to destabilize or destroy human civilization. For instance, the Unabomber believed that civilization falling would be better for the preservation of nature, and the Aum Shinrikyo religious group believed that humanity should fall to be reborn again. Both have intentionally killed people to advance these goals, but were ultimately restricted in the amount of damage they could do by their lack of access to technologies that enable mass destruction.

Actors that want to destroy civilization are quite rare, but unfortunately they exist, and a single one that succeeds is enough to spell disaster. As AI becomes a more powerful force multiplier, such a motivated individual or group might be tempted to leverage it to reach its aims. This represents one of the most serious cases of misuse.

The pool of people with access to powerful AI is expected to grow. If we somehow got to the point where everyone had access to AI capable enough to kill everyone, and the effort involved were reduced to pulling a trigger, some people might be tempted to destroy the world in a moment of personal crisis.

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