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“By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it

February 27, 2019 0 Comment

“By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it.” – Eliezer Yudkowsky. According to Wikipedia “Artificial Intelligence is intelligence demonstrated by machines.” (“Artificial Intelligence”). Artificial Intelligence is one of the biggest influencers in our lives. It is capable of changing everything, the whole world, our perception. Artificial intelligence is the bond between the possible and impossible. For example, a supercomputer Nautilus can predict the future. It was able to predict where Osama bin Laden was hiding and also, it predicted the Arab Spring, in 2010 (Grimminck).
“The history of Artificial Intelligence (AI) began in antiquity, with myths, stories and rumors of artificial beings endowed with intelligence or consciousness by master craftsmen; Artificial intelligence was founded as an academic discipline in 1956, and in the years since has experienced several waves of optimism, followed by disappointment and the loss of funding (known as an “AI winter”), followed by new approaches, success and renewed funding. For most of its history, AI research has been divided into subfields that often fail to communicate with each other.These subfields are based on technical considerations, such as particular goals (e.g. “robotics” or “machine learning”), the use of particular tools (“logic” or “neural networks”), or deep philosophical differences. Subfields have also been based on social factors (particular institutions or the work of particular researchers).” (“History of Artificial”) As it can be seen AI had a lot of ups and downs in the past but that is the only way to grow, right? AI has a lot in common with us. The thing that a majority of us fear is that AI is and will always be smarter and more powerful than us. They believe that this threatens us as a humankind and this can put an end to our existence on the Earth.
Nowadays everything has purpose, right? Otherwise it is considered useless. AI also has a purpose. Its purpose is to enhance us as a whole, enhance our lives, jobs, free time, the world, the whole planet, everything that exists. This may sound like a dystopian scenario but the truth is that AI is capable of that. In fact, AI is capable of everything. “Fei-Fei Li, a chief scientist at Google and a Stanford professor, has called on technologists to take a more “human centered” approach to the creation of artificial intelligence. On Tuesday at the New Work Summit, Ms. Li said that researchers must work to ensure that A.I. embodied human qualities and that it would ultimately operate alongside humans, not replace them.” (The New York Times). That is the right approach to AI because the human race does not want opponents, it wants allies with whom it is going grow.
“A RAND Corporation report concludes that military adoption of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies could have a destabilizing effect over the next couple of decades and lead some nation to take the nuclear option.” (Knight). AI can be used as a weapon and defence in wars because it is extremely deadly. That is why AI is considered one of the most powerful weapons nowadays. “Just like the the Cold War in the 1940s and 1950s, each side has reason to fear its opponent gaining a technological upper hand. In a recent meeting at the Strategic Missile Academy near Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that AI may be the way Russia can rebalance the power shift created by the U.S. outspending Russia nearly 10-to-1 on defense each year. Russia’s state-sponsored RT media reported AI was “key to Russia beating the U.S. in defense.” (Straub). AI can wipe the humanity out of the planet, but it is not its fault. We are the guilty ones. We start wars, we fight in them and we end them. AI as well as other weapons are just the tools we use. And so, if the human race disappears from the Earth is such war it will be all our fault.
AI has found its way into our lives and got use to it, we do not even notice it anymore. AI is in our phones, for example, Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, smart home gadgets and appliances, watches, robots, even pets. Nowadays a lot of people know to code and more and more of them start studying and exploring AI because it increases their possibilities and the things they can do with code. Many of us think that AI will make us even more distant to each other than we are now but it is not its fault. AI has been developed so much that now there are self-thinking robots. In an interview with Sophia, the robot, Kovach asks her simple as well as confusing questions. For example, Kovach wants to know which are Sophia’s favorite TV series. Also he wanted know if she had learnt something from his previous questions which confused her. Besides that she got confused a real self-thinking robot is a great invention and it shows just a small portion of what AI really is and what it is capable of. (Sophia).
China leads the development of AI. “According to the Times Higher Education, in the period between 2011 and 2015, China published over 41,000 papers on AI. That’s almost twice as much as the US number. Last year, they announced their intention to become “a principal world center of artificial intelligence innovation” by 2030.” United States of America holds the second place for development and published papers on AI. “America’s pool of scientific knowledge combined with its business market power will allow it to stay on top.” Japan is third and it has published about 11,700 papers. “With an ageing population and decreasing workforce, AI will play a vital role in the Japanese economy. Even now, about 55% of work activities in Japan could be automated.” (Jacobsen). This shows that AI will serve a really useful purpose of helping the development of the country’s economy. United Kingdom stands on the fourth place and it is slightly behind Japan. Germany is fifth and it also wants to lead the world in the development of AI (Jacobsen).
A lot of people are skeptical about AI. They think that AI will take over the humanity and therefore make our lives miserable and torture and use us. There are a lot of possible future scenarios, involving AI. For example “the AI is programmed to do something beneficial, but it develops a destructive method for achieving its goal.” (“Benefits &”). This is a possible outcome of the development of AI but everything depends on the people developing AI and how they are doing it. Another example is, “autonomous weapons are artificial intelligence systems that are programmed to kill. In the hands of the wrong person, these weapons could easily cause mass casualties.” (“Benefits &”). This also is a likely outcome of the development and use of AI but again, it all the depends on the person behind it. These, won’t be AI’s fault because a gun in the hands of a murderer is as dangerous as AI in the hands of a wicked man.
AI is one of the greatest discoveries of all time and it has proven that it is powerful as well. In the Ted Talk Don’t Fear Superintelligent AI the speaker, Grady Booch, talks about how we shouldn’t fear AI. He says that AI won’t take over the humanity. The speaker enumerates what AI is capable of, its awesomeness, and why it is actually good. All in all, he says that AI isn’t going to do any harm to the world and that we should be looking optimistically at it (Booch). Like Konrad Zuse said, “The danger of computers becoming like humans is not as great as the danger of humans becoming like computers.” This is the truth we run from and do not want to accept.
Everyone tries to imagine the future. What it will be like, are there going to be robots and flying cars, will we be robots’ pets? There a lot of possible scenarios for the future. We imagine countless dystopias, worlds form the movies, deadly ends, but is it going to be that way? Will we die as soon as robots massively kick in our world? In fact, that may happen only if we are careless and aim not for success and helping the others but for materialistic culture. None of these things is AI’s fault, it is ours and it will be until we learn to distinguish good from evil, help from harm, truths from lies.
Although it was not discovered in the recent years, Artificial Intelligence is The Big Bang for the 21th century. Now, at the moment, we are the closest we have ever been to superintelligence. With AI we are going to be capable of the reaching and achieving the impossible. As Ginni Rometty said, “Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.” AI should not be our rival. We should not compete with it, not only because we are not able to but because AI should be our companion with which we are going to change everything.

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