AI, you know. Artificial intelligence. The mysterious mankind killing force that will rule our lives in the future. It plans to kill millions of jobs, leaving millions unemployed. It is meant to carry out the next world war, one that will be fully fought by robots programmed by themselves. It is meant to ‘go rogue’ and attack the human population until it achieves its goal. You must have heard a lot of these stories. These negatively portraying topics that tarnish the reputation of an artificial intelligence.
But is it going to happen? Are we going to surrender, raise the white flag to a computer made by us, no matter its size? Possibly. There is a lot of hate against this science. A lot of uncertainties. Such as, do computers have morals, like (some) humans? Do computers have common sense or do they have some form of ethics? Can they differentiate right and wrong, positive and negative? Are we totally sure that the next AI-powered war vehicle won’t turn against humans? A lot of questions still linger on with this discussion.
Do computers have common sense and do they have some form of ethics?
But there are much brighter aspects of this largely criticized topic. Most of you have not realized it by now, but AI is already built around you today. From Apple’s Siri to Google’s smart speaker. From your web browser to your car. From searching for pictures on the internet to fighting terrorism, AI technology is being used to positively impact your life, to make it easier for you to achieve your goals, every day.
There are some terms to define before I continue onwards. Weak AI is the term used to describe a machine that doesn’t have any self-awareness and is very narrow-minded. Examples would be the Google Home or the Apple Homepod. A strong AI is a computer that has a mind. It has free will and conscience, to the point that it is almost exactly like a human. The movies or TV shows that have some kind of AI is usually based on a strong AI. It can conduct research by itself, one that can grow by itself. This is the machine that everyone fears. Finally, an artificial superintelligence (ASI) is an AI that is far more superior than a human, a machine that can complete problems exponentially faster and the ability to grow to a point where it can control a lot of things by itself. Of course, an ASI will need to have the features that any strong AI will have.
Many large business owners and scientists such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking all are sceptical about AI. They warn us that we have to have total control of any machine we make that will inherit the strong AI characteristics. We should be able to ground an ASI before it takes over the human population. Yet, everyone wants to build one. Every company wants to be the leading force in AI research. This is the future.
But nobody has been able to create a machine that has a strong AI. So you might be asking why should we continue working on one, why should we invest in building a machine that has free will and conscience? If we can control the machine then the possibilities are endless with the stuff we can do with it. The medical enhancements and breakthroughs we can accomplish might do the opposite, save the human race from extinction. There are no boundaries with an ASI.
So do the pros outweigh the cons? Sure they do but can we control the beast? That is the challenge. Otherwise, the end of humanity is closer than you think. Are you up for the challenge?
Thank you so much for reading this post! What are your thoughts on the emergence of an ASI or even a strong AI? Comment below!
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Images are from gsfdcy.com and robotics.wikia.com