Is Artificial Intelligence a Future Threat to Mankind?



In the coming years, it is pretty clear that Artificial Intelligence will surpass human intelligence. Does that thought scare you? Hollywood has portrayed artificial intelligence in umpteen number of movies and most of them convey both aspects – negative and positive. If movies like The Terminator, The Matrix, I-Robot, Oblivion, Transcendence and many more have shown Artificial Intelligence as a threat to mankind, movies like A.I, Wall-E, and Wizard of Oz portray a assuring and friendlier version of it.

So can such intelligence which is exhibited by machines or software be a real threat to our future? Could they really become self-aware and eliminate the entire human race as shown in the movies?

Society as a whole is becoming alienated from one another. Take for example the working class. Both parents tend to be so much involved with their work that their children get neglected. Will robots of the future help in bridging the gap by becoming future companions of children? Will the parents trust these robots enough with their children or will they just give in to their work pressure and choose this alternative?

Robotic Surgery

Today, Artificial intelligence is gaining momentum like never before. Robots can perform surgeries on their own, super-computers are able to perform complex calculations in minutes which could take months by humans.

Elon Musk is a Canadian businessman, a world-famous entrepreneur and inventor who strongly believes in space travel and has been instrumental in developing cars which are smarter and faster (Tesla Motors). He was also the co-founder of Paypal – one of the leading payment processing systems used by millions worldwide.

I don’t think anyone realizes how quickly artificial intelligence is advancing

Elon Musk is also involved with NASA contracts through his company SpaceX, a space transport services company. His brain is also behind Hyperloop, a high-speed transportation system which has a bright future.

When something alarming is spoken from such a visionary person then surely we are in for some nervous laughs.

Elon Musk feels that the rate at which the artificial intelligence is growing, it is alarming and should be looked into. In an interview at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department’s Centennial Symposium, Elon Musk went on to compare artificial intelligence to ‘summoning the demon’. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

I’m increasingly inclined to think that 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’re summoning the demon. You know those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram, and the holy water, and he’s like — yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out. I don’t think anyone realizes how quickly artificial intelligence is advancing,” he said in an interview with Walter Isaacson onstage. “Particularly if [the machine is] involved in recursive self-improvement … and its utility function is something that’s detrimental to humanity, then it will have a very bad effect.”

For the entire interview watch the One-on-One with Elon Musk – MIT AeroAstro Centennial Symposium below.

Speech recognition has now become one of the best features in mobile phones. Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are creating waves with their intelligent responses. Google as a search engine has given its algorithm a touch of AI as well which has caused separate issues like filter bubble and a considerable threat to privacy of individuals. A new feature of the famous social networking platform Facebook shows the latest posts of only those friends and pages on your timeline which you have interacted with recently. All this is possible due to improved algorithms which are working on a better AI.

One of the areas in which AI has seen tremendous growth is the development of new age space robots. Space exploration of the future will be heavily dependent on AI systems.

ALSO READ : Space Robots that Will Give an Edge to Future Space Exploration

As we can see, from the tiniest of work to exploring the vastness of space, artificial intelligence has the potential to cover the entire domain of physical work (technical and non technical) freeing humans from workload.

Whether this would turn out to be in favor of humans only time will tell us. For now, we know that there is a tremendous optimism for Artificial Intelligence, but it has also suffered a number of setbacks.

Eventually, its fate is in our hands. The question is: Are we there yet?

Q. What do you think are the areas of concern when it comes to Artificial Intelligence?

Q. How do you think we can overcome these concerns and turn them into safe and reliable solutions?

Do share your comments below.


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