LONDON - Artificial intelligence offers huge scientific benefits but also brings risks depending on how it is used, Demis Hassabis, the head of leading British AI firm DeepMind, said Friday.

“There’s a whole bunch of interesting and difficult philosophical questions... that we’re going to have to answer about how to control these systems, what values we want in them, how do we want to deploy them, what do we want to use them for,” he said.

Hassabis was speaking at a screening of a documentary about AlphaGo, the AI system developed by DeepMind that stunned the world in 2016 by beating an elite human player in the complex Chinese strategy game “Go”.

In a question and answer session at University College London, he said AI is an “incredible tool to accelerate scientific discovery”, adding: “We believe that it will be one of the most beneficial technologies of mankind ever.”

However, like other powerful technologies, “there are risks”, he said, adding: “It depends on how we as a society decide to deploy it that will resolve in good or bad outcomes.” He said ethical questions were at the “forefront of our mind” at DeepMind, which he founded in 2010 and is now part of Google.