By this point in our technology-filled lifetimes, you’ve probably heard a lot about artificial intelligence, but you may not have ever truly experienced in its richest form first-hand. While we are promised that it is a technology that is being developed to help us with our daily lives, do we actually need help from artificial intelligence? With the best of the best working on this technology and improving at an impressive rate, could AI soon become super intelligent? Will our jobs are at risk, and will we lose our independence? Or could they take over the world?
What Exactly Is Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial intelligence is intelligence which is demonstrated by a machine, closely replicating that of a human. A whole host of machines and computer systems are able to learn from experience and carry out human-like tasks, all because of an artificial intelligence algorithm. The incredibly clever technology can be inserted into robots, cars, computers and more so that these everyday objects become not only more intelligent but arguably more convenient and helpful to our everyday lives as a result. This is progressing at such a rate, that many worries it may take over some occupations which will no longer require human input in the future. With Hollywood taking on the ‘killer AI’ and ‘taking over the world’ traits and turning them into epic movies, should we fear AI as much as these feature-length films suggest?
Why Is Artificial Intelligence Being Created?
Artificial intelligence, like any technology, has been created to improve our everyday lives and to offer businesses and industries assistance to streamline countless processes for everyone involved. Convenience and efficiency have become key parts of every industry and AI could very well hold the key to providing both.. The health care industry, for example, is already hugely benefitting from artificial intelligence – The NHS in the UK is often swamped with too many patients and not enough staff or beds. With artificial intelligence being programmed into robotic care assistants, they can act as life coaches, remind you to take your medication and with further development, could even begin offering a diagnosis for a range of ailments. This is not only beneficial for patients in hospitals, but also for the elderly that may live alone. Artificial intelligence could be programmed into robots and ultimately be used for keeping the elderly company, preventing loneliness and even acting as an intelligent alert if the person is in need of assistance.
Robots coded with artificial intelligence can also be used in retail, by offering recommendations as to what each customer should purchase or can even help sports coaches, by providing them with techniques in which they can organise the game better and how to optimise field positions.
These are all very beneficial perks that artificial intelligence can provide for us, and thus far, have only served to help humanity in a positive way. However, sometimes the deeper learning that they acquire can overpower them and give them new objectives, which is where the fear of super intelligence sets in. As artificial intelligence replicates human’s intelligence and characteristics, if they mimic and learn features which are not positive, then we could have a problem.
Do We Need To Be Worried?
As previously mentioned, there are countless films which have created an anxiety around the idea that artificial intelligence will take over the human race. Many of us brush off these movies as just science fiction stories, however, some well-known scientists and businessmen agree with the plots of the films and fear that they have the potential to come true in the future.
Stephen Hawking was famously known for his beliefs that artificial intelligence will reach super intelligence and take over the world. It may sound rather dramatic, but Mr Hawking would not put forward an idea or theory if he didn’t have the evidence needed to prove it. With a trusted, reliable scientist suggesting that we may be in danger, you arguably can’t get more of a valid opinion. In 2014, he told the BBC that artificial intelligence would “redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate” and that “humans who are limited by slow biological evolution… would be superseded” (AI Is Our Future, P.Caughill, 2017). If he is correct, then we don’t have long until artificial intelligence becomes super intelligence.
Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX, very much agrees with Stephen Hawking’s opinion and takes it further. Musk has claimed that artificial intelligence is “more dangerous than nuclear warheads” (Elon Musk: ‘Mark my words…nukes’, C.Clifford, 2018) and is afraid that the development of artificial intelligence will outdo us and we won’t be able to manage it in a safe way. He even suggests that we develop a proven way to prevent digital super intelligence if a problem looks like it is about to occur.
Even the most talented and intelligent people on our planet are acclaiming that artificial intelligence should be kept under regulation and prevented from advancing to superintelligence. As credited scientists and engineers, does this mean that they could be right? Should we act upon their theories?
As artificial intelligence works closer and closer towards being super intelligence, when do we make the decision to stop? Although there are lots of benefits which come from the artificial intelligence which appear to be helpful for humanity, how do we know if we can trust artificial intelligence now, and especially in the future? Only time will tell.