All posts filed under: AI Debate

Plenty of Room for AI-nxiety

Editor’s note: this essay is part of an ongoing series hosted by Quillette debating the practical and ethical implications of AI. If you would like to contribute or respond to this essay or others in the series, please send a submission to pitch@quillette.com. In light of recent articles addressing the apprehension surrounding Artificial Intelligence and its implications, there are two things that ought to be brought to bear. There is the effect of the most moral of artificial intelligences, and then there is the impact of human goals on the development of AI. It should be noted that we are not talking about contemporary AI here; we’re discussing the as-yet-unseen future AI, the Strong Artificial Intelligence, a general intelligence capable of the same types of universal reasoning, prediction, and analysis that humans undertake. Here I will be referring to it as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) in order to differentiate it from our digital Go players and car drivers. The Benevolent Superintelligence Thomas Metzinger is a German philosopher who is most known for his works on consciousness and ethics. He …

Rational AI-nxiety: A Counter-Argument

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is defined by Merriam-Webster as a “branch of computer science dealing with the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.” As machine learning becomes more advanced and AI continues to become more complex, what does that mean for the future of humanity? One can easily identify the advantages of AI – these include, but are not limited to, AI’s potential use in improving the accuracy of medical diagnoses; in performing laborious and/or dangerous work; and in rational decision-making during situations in which human emotions can impair efficiency and/or safety. These are only a few examples of why AI can and has become so advantageous. Smart-phones and many applications within the Internet are marvelous examples of the application of AI in our daily lives. The World Wide Web, introduced in 1989, has become increasingly expansive. AI has allowed for the massive amounts of information on the Web to be organized in a searchable fashion (think: Google Search Engine). Communication has become nearly instant with the introduction of email and audio and video Internet applications. …

Irrational AI-nxiety

The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. Stephen Hawking [AI Poses] vastly more risk than North Korea. Elon Musk Very smart people tell us to be very worried about AI. But very smart people can also be very wrong and their paranoia is a form of cognitive bias owed to our evolved psychology. Concerns over the potential harm of new technologies are often sensible, but they should be grounded in fact, not flights of fearful fancy. Fortunately, at the moment, there is little cause for alarm. Some fear that AI will reach parity with human intelligence or surpass it, at which point it will threaten harm, displace, or eliminate us. In November, Stephen Hawking told Wired, “I fear that AI may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that replicates itself. This will be a new form of life that will outperform humans.” Similarly, Elon Musk has said that AI is “a fundamental existential risk for human civilization.” This fear seems to be …