Humans have been fascinated with artificial intelligence since the dawn of machines. We have discussed it, made blockbuster movies that revolve around it, and now, it is here already. Artificial intelligence is creeping into our cars, offices, homes, phones and more. Already, robots function in places across the globe. Eventually, we will have human-like robots (androids) roaming our streets, living in our homes and working in our offices.
Very soon, artificial intelligence will run more of our societies than humans do. After all, the allure of Ai is the convenience that it brings to our lives. We will let them do more and more so we can do less. Of course, there have been concerns about the possible threats that AI poses to the human race. There are also people who think that the concerns are not worth anything. Two men at the forefront of modern systems are [poster boys for each side of this divide.
Zuckerberg Versus Musk
Mark Zuckerberg thinks the concerns are unfounded. His position:
“If you’re arguing against AI, then you’re arguing against safer cars that aren’t going to have accidents. And you’re arguing against being able to better diagnose people when they’re sick. I just don’t see how, in good conscience, some people can do that. I’m just much more optimistic on this, in general, than probably a lot of folks are.”
Elon Musk fired back at him in a tweet:
— Darren Cunningham (@dcunni) July 25, 2017
This is an interesting face-off between two powerful men who are both invested in advanced technology, including artificial intelligence. I do not think that this is a black or white scenario. And I do not think that someone like Elon Musk is arguing against artificial intelligence. His autonomous Tesla cars would be impossible without AI. Pointing out the possible dangers or flaws of something is not the same as arguing against that thing.
It is a scenario that I am all too familiar with. I point out that a certain path has problems and people just jump in to say I am saying the thing is not valid or will not work or should not be done. In reality, pointing out the flaws or pit holes of a thing means that you can better handle it.
Artificial Intelligence: Zero Threat?
I am with Elon Musk on this. It is not irresponsible to warn about negative possibilities. AI is bringing huge benefits to the human race, yet there are possible dangers in going forward in that direction. Acknowledging that does not mean that we must not continue to develop and pursue the technology. It simply means that we must thread carefully.
After all, we are pretty much unleashing a new generation of creations that can learn faster than humans, process information faster than the human brain can, as well as run without getting tired. I recall reading a piece recently about how through self-learning, an AI system has created and began to communicate in a language not known to humans. It is still crude and fascinating, but do imagine the possibilities.