Last week, scientist Stephen Hawking warned everyone about the dangers of artificial intelligence. For Hawking, AI is no laughing matter.
Sure, we all joke around about the impending doom that can result from AI. I have an ongoing inside joke with roomba that it is inherently evil and will one day destroy me (but also keep my carpet impeccably clean). I’m sure you do a killer Arnold Schwarzenegger impression that will surely come in handy once the machines rise to conquer all of humanity.
However, for Hawking, it’s time to start taking the threat of artificial intelligence a little more seriously. In an article written for ‘The Independent’, Hawking talks about how easy it is dismiss artificial intelligence as something out of science fiction. However, this dismissal could one day lead to our inevitable doom.
With self-driving cars, a robot (not Ken Jennings) that wins at ‘Jeopardy’, and digital aids such as Siri, Hawking believes these monumental feats of technology couldn’t compare to the potential innovations human beings are capable of. One day, we could be creating AI that could bring about the end of war, disease and poverty. However, if we ignore the risks that come with these developments, the end results could wind up being deadly. We may just create artificial intelligence that is too intelligent.
“One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of A.I. depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.”
Hawking believes the advent of AI could be the best or worst thing to happen in human history. (Really? Not Kim Kardashian? Okay.) However, he urges more serious research to take place regarding the issues that could arise. He closes, “All of us should ask ourselves what we can do now to improve the chances of reaping the benefits and avoiding the risks.”
What do you think? Does Hawking sound a little paranoid or does he bring up serious points about AI?