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As the unceasing march of progress pushes us further into a future teeming with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, a new research paper from the University of Cambridge puts forth the radical concept of implementing remote kill switches and lockouts into AI hardware as a safeguard against its potentially destructive misuse.

The paper argues staunchly for hardware regulation, stating its many advantages over software regulation. Hardware, unlike the nebulous realm of software, is tangible, detectable, and quantifiable. It comes with a concentrated supply chain, making it easier for authorities to monitor and control. Advanced AI chips, a critical component of AI hardware, are produced by only a handful of companies (Nvidia, AMD, Intel), which could, in theory, simplify the restriction of their sale to persons or countries that raise security concerns.

The authors propose a range of measures for AI hardware regulation, including improved visibility into AI hardware usage, trade restrictions on AI chips, and even a global registry for AI chip sales. More radical suggestions bandied about in the paper include implanting kill switches into the silicon itself to prevent malicious uses, and requiring multiple approvals for potentially risky AI training tasks.

Regulating the hardware associated with artificial intelligence might be a simpler task than monitoring AI development itself, according to the authors. The intangible nature of data, algorithms, and trained models, coupled with their sheer ease of dissemination, make them especially slippery fishes in the regulation sea.

The paper by no means dismisses other forms of regulation but suggests that starting with the hardware might be a more manageable stepping stone. This research paper and the propositions within it, mark an acknowledgement of the chilling potential for the misuse of AI technology. This sentiment is further echoed by the involvement of several researchers from OpenAI, a clear nod to the AI community's escalating concern over this burgeoning technology's potential for harm.

If adopted, this new layer of hardware regulation could have extensive implications for the future of AI development and usage worldwide. Companies and governments would need to develop comprehensive frameworks to guide these new regulation efforts—a task that might prove to be convoluted due to the mesh of national and international laws involved. On the other hand, it could also usher in a new era of safety and assurance ensuring that the incredible power of artificial intelligence remains firmly in the right hands.

The innovation presented in this research paper lies not just in its material recommendations, but equally in its conceptual reframing of AI regulation—as something that engages not just with the ephemeral world of software, but with the tangible, concrete reality of AI hardware. It introduces a whole new dimension to our thinking about AI—how we develop it, regulate it, and, ultimately, how we steer its course into the future.

What is clear is that the spotlight shining on AI technology is now becoming a floodlight. Our collective concern about its negative potential is growing apace with our admiration for its capabilities. If we are to coexist with AI, perhaps it is prudent we ensure we have an 'off' switch.