Celebrities worry about Artificial Intelligence

The advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are moving at a stunning pace.   In some areas AI is already way ahead of human intelligence, but engineers are still years away from developing machines that are self-aware. The technological singularity is believed to eradicate poverty and deceases, but some prominent celebrities are worried it could be the end of the human race. 

Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have signed an open letter, drafted by the “Future of Life Institute” saying scientists should seek to head off risks that could wipe out mankind. The letter points out that AI can have a profound positive impact on society and has had remarkable successes in many areas, like speech recognition, image classification, autonomous vehicles, machine translation and question-answering systems.

But it issued a warning that research into the rewards of AI had to be matched with an equal effort to avoid the potential damage it could cause. The letter warns that AI may put millions of people out of work, and, in the long-term, robots could become far more intelligent than humans.

You can read the letter and sign here: https://futureoflife.org/misc/open_letter

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AI solutions available today

You might use AI solutions like Google Translate, Apple’s Siri, Google Now, Microsoft Cortana or IBM’s Watson and many others. They are remarkable tools for everyday use. And the future of intelligent assistance and the possibilities AI can provide in health care, research and robot technology is undeniably exciting.

Also many would argue that technology leaps have created more jobs than they have eliminated. But science fiction has given us scenarios like Skynet in the 1984 film “Terminator” and the 2004 film “iRobot” where machines turn against mankind.

Woz’s worry that humans will become pets for robots

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak and thousands of others have expressed support for the initiative. Woz recently stated that he fears that people will become pets for robots, pointing out his concern for programs that can program themselves.

Elon Musk the founder of Tesla and SpaceX recently made a $10 million donation to the Future of Life Institute for the development of a grant program that will research into ways of keeping AI friendly. Musk is also an investor in Vicarious (alongside with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg). Vicarious is aiming to create a program that can think like a person and replicate the part of the brain that controls vision, body movement and language.

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