Los Angeles, 2028. The charred remains of what used to be an epicenter of lavishness and luxury has been reduced to rubble, ash and lingering smoke clouds. Okay, okay, if you think this is starting to sound like the opening scene of Terminator 2, then you’re right.
So, here we sit and there is still no robo-revolution. But, could such a scenario actually play out given the current tech and the path we’re on?
Movies and novels such as these really spark conversation to those interested in current and future technological progress. However outrageous these action flicks may seem to the viewers, they are not too far fetched anymore.
Will The Terminator Come True?
Let’s see what theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking has to say about the situation.
From the BBC: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
He continued, “Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
AI Could Spell the End of the Human Race
That’s a bit scary coming from one of the smartest humans to ever live.
Artificial Intelligence: Could It Really Take Over Humanity?
How many times have you watched the news—or better yet—a web video showing something that you thought would be impossible just moments before? Advances in technology are accelerating very rapidly. Some of them even faster than we imagined as kids.
Remember 1993’s Demolition Man? The blockbuster movie that had self driving cars and handheld touchscreens long before they existed?
Did you ever think that you’d be seeing these things everywhere today? Sure, self driving cars have a ways to go but, five years from now, they may be more common than not. Maybe sooner.
It is voice controlled, understands commands very well—and most importantly—it’s tangible, not (CG) computer generated. Everybody instantly fell in love when they found out BB8 was a real thing that responded in real time.
Just 25 years ago you would have been called a wizard of some sort for making such a cool creation. But, this is the type of thing that is becoming so common that it’s hard to impress people nowadays.
Which brings me to the tangible subject of AI.
AI Has Become More Common
Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming more and more common to people all over the globe. Have you seen the ads for Watson lately?
Watson Super Computer
Watson is getting faster and better at processing all of the time, with no breaks. If you haven’t yet seen this, check it out. It is amazing stuff.
Now with the advent of neural networks that learn and evolve being relatively cheap, it is easier than ever for companies to advance their AI goals.
United States Military Exoskeleton Robots
The U.S. military is never to be outdone in the intelligence area. They have been developing exoskeleton robots for soldiers to wear in battle. These suits are capable of lifting hundreds of pounds all day, with no breaks.
This is really awesome and scary all in the same thought. What if something like this fell into devious hands? Worse yet, what if this type of tech was combined with a specific AI that was constantly learning to be better, faster and more intelligent?
It is truly a terrifying thought to entertain. What could one do against a machine that does not tire and only gets better as the days go by?
Surely they will far surpass the human intellect in a fraction of what we think is capable now. Couple this intellect with the exoskeleton’s strength and the new bionic eyes that are being developed in Europe and you have a real life programmable terminator if you like.
It would have no sympathy for the human condition.
A machine that is constantly improving upon itself (which any AI will) that functions at the right capacity could be devastating by itself, let alone in numbers. They may even see the human condition as a hindrance and just get rid of the perceived imperfection altogether.
Jeff Dean, a senior at Google, was noted as stating that AI is “actually speeding up.” (Source)
Companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook have all taken to the technology in their own iterations. Google even created an intelligence that can play and master old Atari cartridges. Likewise, Facebook has a tech that helps describe images to blind people.
Creators are Inferior Beings
On the one hand, we have an amazing breakthrough in science and humanity’s advancement. On the other hand we have an intelligence that could potentially view it’s creators as inferior beings. After all, machines only calculate and execute, don’t they?
Some of the fine folks at MIT have recently developed an AI that has been shown and recorded to outperform even their best and brightest.
Data Science Machine
It is dubbed the Data Science Machine and is a type of intuition engine. It searches for predictive patterns much in the same way people do. It just does it with lightning speed.
This drastically reduces any time spent researching for information. It is just another way that artificial intelligence is making things easier on humanity.
In the case of the aforementioned Watson, it is constantly learning from all of people using the internet and evolving accordingly. That is a massive amount of information being computed constantly by this one AI, in the cloud of our techno tendencies.
With the speed at which the AI can process and improve upon itself, we can have medical breakthroughs daily at some point in the near future. This also means that there is an intelligence that will soon know the ins-and-outs of the human anatomy better than we humans do.
For a man versus machine scenario, this would be catastrophic. Just ponder for a moment, a machine intelligence that does not stop, only gets better all the time and knows every weakness that even we don’t.
Work Together with the Machines
Terrifying for sure. On the flip side, we could end up becoming in tune with our machine counterparts and learn from each other on how to flourish as one society. Think of the advancements that we could accomplish with an intellect that is multiplying constantly.
We could obliterate illnesses, diseases, debt and so much more that persists today. There is even one case where a woman’s memories were somehow imprinted into a chip and inserted into a robot made to look like the deceased woman.
The robot has memories and thinks that it is the person from those memories.
This raises so many more questions on the nature of perception and reality as we know it today. If a robot that had a person’s memories said it was real, what would happen if you told it that it wasn’t that person?
How would it react? Would it have a reaction at all?
This type of thing is becoming more common than most of us would admit being comfortable with. If you have been spinning around on this big old rock for long, then you know it’s only going to get more complex.
So, where do we draw the line here? If there is danger ahead with this new intelligence, are we already too late to correct it?
These are truly amazing times to witness.