Artificial Intelligence is the study of creating intelligence in algorithms. AI Alignment is the task of ensuring [powerful] AI system are aligned with human values and interests. The central concern is that a powerful enough AI, if not designed and implemented with sufficient understanding, would optimize something unintended by its creators and pose an existential threat to the future of humanity. This is known as the AI alignment problem.
Common terms in this space are superintelligence, AI Alignment, AI Safety, Friendly AI, Transformative AI, human-level-intelligence, AI Governance, and Beneficial AI. This entry and the associated tag roughly encompass all of these topics: anything part of the broad cluster of understanding AI and its future impacts on our civilization deserves this tag.
There are narrow conceptions of alignment, where you’re trying to get it to do something like cure Alzheimer’s disease without destroying the rest of the world. And there’s much more ambitious notions of alignment, where you’re trying to get it to do the right thing and achieve a happy intergalactic civilization.
But both the narrow and the ambitious alignment have in common that you’re trying to have the AI do that thing rather than making a lot of paperclips.
See also General Intelligence.
Basic Alignment Theory
AI Alignment Fieldbuilding