Should We Be Afraid of Artificial Intelligence?

Man invented machines and placed them into his service. They used to be enormous, heavy, and loud. Today, they are barely visible microchips, smart devices, virtual mathematical puzzles. But what will be the ultimate outcome of human invention? Perhaps an artificial intelligence — a computer smarter than we are? 

Why Do We Need AI?

AI technology has been in use for some time, ever since the computer learned to recognize some conditions and make certain decisions itself. It’s called Artificial Function Intelligence (AFI), a programmed system whose role is to do a human’s job, only smarter and faster. 

Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANR) is a revolutionary breakthrough that can save many lives. Just imagine piloting cars and tracks, or the whole traffic system without human factors. Moreover, this technology has enormous potential in preventing and remedying natural disasters, wars, or epidemics. So far, it seems useful and harmless.

Why is Artificial General Intelligence So Terrifying?

Many brilliant people and great scientists have expressed their concern about future AI and creation of the SuperIntelligence. Experts call it Artificial General Intelligence or AGI. 

Steven Hawkins, Elon Musk and Bill Gates have already spoken of AGI as a potential threat to humanity. They all shared the opinion that machines could take over the world and lead to human extermination, apocalypse, doomsday, or whatever we paraphrase it.

However, there’s a theoretical question — Could this superintelligence be grateful for being made by humans? Will it be obedient enough to tell us how to keep it under control? Could we just turn it off?

A practical question would be — If we minimize the panic about the war on machines, what is going to happen with our careers? Once we have a computer that thinks, knows, and works countless times faster than us, how can we save our job?

Could AGI Be Unplugged?

This simple solution always works for our home computers. Still, it wouldn’t mean much here. Once launched, Superintelligence has no return. Moreover, it will always be one step ahead in gameplay with people. Immortal and unstoppable — that is why it’s so scary. 

Fortunately, even the AGI enthusiasts admit its development is at the beginning. Since research is expensive and exhaustive, scientists expect some significant milestones around 2047 — enough time to discuss who is for and who is against it. Perhaps such a scary innovation, just like a nuclear weapon, is inevitable for human evolution and the greater good. 

Is Our Fear Justified?

From today’s point of view, it is entirely understandable why we have a fear of such technological changes. It is in our biology to respond defensively to things that are not in our control but may endanger us. In this case, not only civilization but life on the planet could be in danger.

Nevertheless, the human species has had many turning points through evolution. We survived, adapted, overcame the unknown to work for us. It is human nature, something that a machine doesn’t possess. 

There is one more thing that Artificial intelligence does not have — a common sense. It can only learn linearly; it can’t master the unknown with logic and will never be able to think creatively. 

Finally, artificial intelligence can be at our service. It could stop war victims, plane crushes, overcome hunger, solve a healthcare problem. As long as we have control over it in our hands, we are the ones who create and destroy. We must make this world a better place and be superhumans. In the end, man is the greatest danger to his kind.