Sometimes it feels like we let the story of the Terminator movies control our emotions when it comes to artifical intelligence.
As the world seemingly becomes more advanced, self-flying drones, self-driving cars and self everything some big names in science and technology have come out warning against the potential threat of AI.
Stephen Hawking thinks artifical intelligence “could spell the end of the human race“, not equally as smart Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he doesn’t, “understand why some people are not concerned” in an AMA that he did on Reddit.
Then the modern day Tony Stark and Tesla founder Elon Musk said during a recent MIT talk that we are, “summing the demon” – ironically Tesla Model S vehicles just got an intelligent self-driving autopilot update.
I have seen all of the Terminator movies as well and I have been conditioned to be fearful of machines taking it upon themselves to blow up mankind to save mankind from themselves. If you have also seen the movie I, Robot starring Will Smith which centres around artificial intelligence as well.
The real threat that AI poses is being used in the wrong areas
Is AI for self-driving taxis going to end the world? Planes essentially fly by themselves with the pilots just there for decorative purposes to take off and land the planes. And we can’t forget IBM’s successful AI, Watson won Jeopardy.
The military is investing their efforts into autonomous drones capable of deciding the best place to drop bombs, fire lasers or whatever it is military weapons can do these days.
Once upon a time people fought wars on the ground with real consequences. Now the war of today and tomorrow is fought by computers. Still operated by human control, but the technology is growing to allow for deadly military weapons to decide for themselves who to hit without a human deciding.
This is what truly scares me.
We need to let go of this concern that a supercomputer is going to decide that mankind needs to be wiped out and launch every nuclear warhead available towards us. The real threat is military AI, not the kind of AI we are seeing which will revolutionise travel or make our lives easier.