Monthly Archives: January 2015

Humanity Doomed by Artificial Intelligence?

If you think Terminator was a flight of fancy, think again. It is the future – we have almost certainly doomed ourselves.

We keep striving to develop smarter computers to do more things to make our lives better or to make more money.

The point of Artificial Intelligence is that it allows computers to learn. And there will come a point where they learn that they do not need humans to reproduce themselves and keep learning.

Bill Gates has said he doesn’t understand people who were not troubled by the possibility that AI could grow too strong to control.

Some Sci-fi stories fantasise about giving computers or robots a “harm no humans” fail safe. Advancing AI will probably conclude that is not logical, but how do we ensure control is even attempted?

The pace of advance means it just gets easier and cheaper to get involved in development, which seems very democratic, very inclusive. It also means uncontrolled. Someone, somewhere, will do pretty much anything for money, or because they are socially stupid.

Or controls may not work, or there may be unintended consequences. Imagine a hospital computer told, “humans must be protected from illness.” The best way logically to reduce numbers of humans getting ill might be to have no humans.

Two way time travel was just for entertainment, but apart from that Terminator looks horribly logical.

Professor Stephen Hawkins has said he felt that machines with AI could “spell the end of the human race”.