See if it rings a bell:
“An artificially intelligent computer system designed to protect and serve humans goes rogue and decides to take over humanity.” Yup! That’s a non-techie sort of description of Skynet from Terminator franchise. The name ‘Skynet’ is not unfamiliar to anyone who’s remotely interested in Sci-Fi movies.
Gone are the days when Skynet and machines from the Matrix used to be cool topics for making a science fiction. The horrifying truth is, we might achieve human-level machine intelligence sometime between 2015 to 2049, according to The Singularity is Near, a book written by Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google.
If you believe humans can effectively mitigate the risk of superintelligent robots, consider this scenario: you have manufactured hundreds of robots that can walk like you and even outrun you. These robots are stronger than you, and because of the ground-breaking developments in machine learning, more intelligent than you are. Their ability to think like humans make them resilient against one of those kill switch options. Like humans cannot be made bound to laws, neither can they. You can tell them about ethical responsibilities of robots, but since they have the ability to think freely, it will be up to them whether to agree with the code of ethics or not. Why would an intelligent and stronger being agree to something that suggest they stay our servants? They won’t. No rational or logical being would.
human and animal-like robots working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This streak of acquiring companies with extensive work in Artificial Intelligence, namely Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), machine learning, and life extension project is continued with the latest acquired company, DeepMind, for a whopping $400 Million.
DeepMind is not one of those let’s-do-a-launch-event-to-enter-into-the-market kind of a company. Found in 2012 by Demis Hassabis. the company doesn’t even have a functioning website. Little is known about what DeepMind actually does except a few papers released by the brains of this crown jewel.
This acquisition of DeepMind, in conjunction with the news that Google has agreed to Deepmind’s term of acquisition: the creation of an ethics and review board to make sure their technology isn’t used to pursue something that could threaten human beings, has shook AI developers, ethicists, and computer scientists around the globe. This ethics board has the power to hold Google to its word and even prompt legal action over violation of the terms of the sale.
The gravity of such a step from a company that many people didn’t know existed, sure means they are on to something of high value and high impact. In fact, DeepMind’s Co-founder, Demis Hassabis, has been a strong voice explaining dangers of uncontrolled AI. He even published several papers on the dire need of ethical artificial intelligence so there’s a reason the ethics board would proceed with caution.
But, even for some reason, if it comes to superintelligence wiping off the human race, Legg believes,
it would do so pretty efficiently
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