There has been a tremendous amount of press on the astonishing advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) and the negative impacts that it could have on our society. Former Computing Community Consortium (CCC) council member, Eric Horvitz recently published a piece about the Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence. Others have commented that AI could take our jobs and even potentially kill us.
Elon Musk, Tesla chief executive, called artificial intelligence our biggest existential threat at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium in October.
I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence.
I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.
But have we stopped to think… are they really all that bad?
We have learned from science fiction movies and books that when the AI becomes conscious, it can decide to kill us all. However, as Buchanan argues, consciousness is hard to create because scientists “can’t really agree on a rigorous definition, let alone a research program that would uncover its basic mechanisms.” The qualities of humanity -love, anger, revenge- are a part of our consciousness. So without consciousness to drive an AI, there is no reason to expect that it could get revengeful and commit murder.
Whatever you decide, good or bad, just know you have people on both sides of the argument who have your back even if the robots eventually do not.