I have a theory, the humanity will face a deadly biological virus which will someday bring the Earth back to its balance. The nature has always found a way to even the scales and it is over due now. 7.4 billion people and still rising, its like we have taken this earth as our own and disregarding all the other living entities. Well, what nature decides we can’t stop most of the time so lets not talk about that. Instead lets talk about another probable scenario where the man kind faces one of its greatest existential threats. The super intelligent machines turned against man kind. The moment when we can’t control our own creation which is thousands fold smarter than us and keep increasing in intelligence exponentially. How do we fight such a mighty foe ? Well, we can’t. It would be the end of the most dominant biological species on the planet.
If you are thinking ‘hey, this dude is crazy, he must have watched too many science fiction stories‘. Well fair enough. I am nobody. But that doesn’t mean my fears are invalid. Lets check what some of the most brilliant people living today has to say.
The open letter ‘RESEARCH PRIORITIES FOR ROBUST AND BENEFICIAL ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE‘ was signed by the greatest minds of our generation and is directed to the ‘Future of Life Institute‘ urging the world think ahead and warning everyone of the probable doomsday that will come upon man kind if we are not cautious. Just take a look at the first dozen or so names in this list. These people are the giants of the AI field and when they say we need to be worried, then we better be worried.
When Stuart Russell, Yann LeCun, Geoffrey Hinton and Peter Norvig agrees, its hard to throw away as science fiction.
Stephen Hawking said one time;
“A super intelligent AI will be extremely good at accomplishing its goals, and if those goals aren’t aligned with ours, we’re in trouble.
You’re probably not an evil ant-hater who steps on ants out of malice, but if you’re in charge of a hydroelectric green energy project and there’s an anthill in the region to be flooded, too bad for the ants. Let’s not place humanity in the position of those ants.”
Elon Musk is also warning the world
“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. Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.“
Bill Gates agrees
“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.”
For cry not loud, these are the guys whose companies are the dominant forces in AI research, so when they say things we have to pay attention, they know what they are talking about as they are at the frontier of current AI advances.
Of cause the research on AI isn’t going to stop. Machines are going to become smarter and smarter and we can’t stop it, some where some one will continue the research. We cannot ban the research on AI because the positive things that humanity and the world as a whole has gained through AI are immense and its continuing to play a vital role in making our world a better place. So the idea is to be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions and if possible not to cross the points of no return.
We will discuss more on Stopping the rise of Machines 02 – 3 Laws of Robotics