UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called technology advances one of the "epochal challenges" facing the world.
Speaking Tuesday at the General Assembly gathering of world leaders, Guterres said the promise of such developing technologies as artificial intelligence, blockchain and biotech is tempered by risks and "serious dangers."
He noted that technology stands to change or eliminate some jobs and is a tool in the hands of terrorists, cybercriminals and creators of disinformation campaigns. He also said he worries about the possibility of artificially intelligent weapons that could choose their own targets.
Guterres declared that "the prospect of machines with the discretion and power to take human life is morally repugnant."
He also noted that people increasingly are getting information from social media feeds and outlets that echo their views and "reinforce tribalism."