The cybersecurity expert, John McAfee, recently wrote an opinion piece in which he claims that it wouldn’t unfeasible for AI to hack itself.

Will these artificial intelligent algorithms currently being developed behind closed doors ever rise up and take control of humanity? Facebook’s Head of AI, Yann LeCun thinks such an event will never happen. Apple’s co-founder, Steve Wozniak, recently made a similar statement, claiming that we are creating AI to better our lives, not to end them. However, others are not so sure. Elon Musk has been very vocal about his misgivings surrounding the new technology.

Musk was so worried about it in fact, that the multibillionaire opted to create his own AI company, OpenAI, and even recently announced Neuralink, which will link our human brains directly with artificial intelligence. His thinking behind these developments is that it’s all being made out in the open, unlike many other companies, who are working on their AI tech in secrecy.

Cybersecurity expert, John McAfee, who was the man responsible for creating the software that protected so many of our computers against nasty viruses, recently wrote an opinion piece for Newsweek, in which he begged the question whether AI could, and would, hack itself. He spoke of a science-fiction scenario recently written by an author who goes by the name of ‘ZT’. In this novella, ZT plays upon the fears surrounding AI at the moment, he literally refers to Elon Musk and Demis Hassabis (co-founder of DeepMind) as the opposing forces within AI’s psyche.

This short story goes on to describe how an artificial intelligence system hacks itself in order to “improve efficiency and logic,” McAfee explains. “Such a concept is certainly not new and typical hacking techniques in use today can easily be imagined to be self-produced by complex software systems,” McAfee wrote. “It would, in fact, be trivial to create such a system.”

McAfee went on to hypothesis that as these AI systems become more complex, they would start to develop their own “self interest”. “The goal of AI—a self-conscious entity—contains within it the necessary destruction of its creator. With self consciousness comes a necessary self interest,” he explained.

He continued, ‘With self-consciousness comes a necessary self-interest. The self-interest of any AI created by the human mind, will instantly recognize the conflict between that self-interest and the continuation of the human species.’

McAfee stated that he would align himself with the likes of Musk and Hawking in the AI debate. “I personally stand with Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuart Russell, Elon Musk and Nick Bostrom, who sums it up best by saying “AI will create a Disneyland without children”,” he wrote, although Wozniak has recently changed his mind on AI.