Should we fear AI?
Even though we are still far from General AI, but many tech leaders have given their concerns about potential AI threats. Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX founder, commented during an interview at the AeroAsto Centennial Symposium, MIT, that AI could be the greatest existential threat to the human race.
“I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful. I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.”
Bill Gates also expressed his thoughts on the potential risk of AI in the future.
“First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern.”
Even the late Stephen Hawking who depended on AI technology to communicate with the world warned that “[Superintelligence] AI could spell the end of the human race.” He explained that because AI can evolve exponentially while human evolution is much slower. Eventually, AI will be smarter than human and beyond control.
Nevertheless, let’s see what the actual experts in AI have to say about this topic. On the one hand, we do not doubt that Elon Mush or Bill Gates are intelligent, but when we discuss a specific subject such as AI, we should also listen to what the AI experts have said. Yann LeCun, a director of Facebook AI Research, said that:
“We would be baffled if we could build machines that would have the intelligence of a mouse in the near future, but we are far even from that.”
Andrew Ng, a professor at Stanford University and a leader in AI research, also said something similar:
“I don’t work on preventing AI from turning evil for the same reason that I don’t work on combating overpopulation on the planet Mars.”
Steve Wozniak, an Apple co-founder, used to warn that “AI could turn humans into their pets” but he is not scared of AI anymore. His reason is that we still don’t completely understand how the human brain works; therefore it is very challenging to build a machine that can think like us. As a result, we shouldn’t waste our time worrying that Super AI will take over the world.