Risk Management Standards and the Active Management of Malicious Intent in Artificial Superintelligence

An article by Patrick Bradley (Thrive Plus’ Practice Leader – Improvement) was recently published by AI & Society. In his article Patrick explores the new paradigms to risk management required to manage the emergence of artificial superintelligence. Click here for the full article with the abstract available below.


The likely near future creation of artificial superintelligence carries significant risks to humanity. These risks are difficult to conceptualise and quantify, but malicious use of existing artificial intelligence by criminals and state actors is already occurring and poses risks to digital security, physical security and integrity of political systems. These risks will increase as artificial intelligence moves closer to superintelligence. While there is little research on risk management tools used in artificial intelligence development, the current global standard for risk management, ISO 31000:2018, is likely used extensively by developers of artificial intelligence technologies. This paper argues that risk management has a common set of vulnerabilities when applied to artificial superintelligence which cannot be resolved within the existing framework and alternative approaches must be developed. Some vulnerabilities are similar to issues posed by malicious threat actors such as professional criminals and terrorists. Like these malicious actors, artificial superintelligence will be capable of rendering mitigation ineffective by working against countermeasures or attacking in ways not anticipated by the risk management process. Criminal threat management recognises this vulnerability and seeks to guide and block the intent of malicious threat actors as an alternative to risk management. An artificial intelligence treachery threat model that acknowledges the failings of risk management and leverages the concepts of criminal threat management and artificial stupidity is proposed. This model identifies emergent malicious behaviour and allows intervention against negative outcomes at the moment of artificial intelligence’s greatest vulnerability.