Artificial Intelligence - What are the implications for our future, when it achieves self-awareness?
The thought of "Thinking Machines" can do one of two things for you, either excite you at the prospect of them or scare you at the implications to us humans if and when they do become "Self-Aware".
Guess what, they are here, robotics has come leaps and bounds in recent years, and is being improved on a constant basis. Every Tech head company is either involved or getting involved in the development of robotics and thinking machines, just look at the example of the Google driverless car, Amazon's Alexa. The Verge has written a great article on AI, which is well worth a look.
Very clever stuff indeed, but so was the calculator, PC, Laptop, Smartphone, etcetera when they were first invented.
Question is do they think for themselves? are they intelligent? can they feel, feelings?
According to Moore's Law, these devices are doubling in their capacity all the time and are more capable of amazing feats, like driving cars, competing and winning in Jeopardy, and beating Grand Masters in Chess. These though are all down to being programmed and using algorithms created by humans. So is it the programme or the programmers that are advancing?
You can't deny, we are in the middle of a Digital Revolution. IT has exploded and every corner of this planet has been exposed to it. The world has shrunk due to the internet, search engines help us find answers at the click of a mouse, we can communicate instantly anywhere via social media sites, News stories are now breaking news 24/7 that we can access from any device.
For Millennials, this is just normal, but for my generation and ones before that, who lived before the internet and the Digital Revolution, it is mind-blowing. If they have come this far with technology in my generation, just how far will it go by the next? Will robots be walking the streets? Cars be driving themselves?
When I was a kid, this was the stuff of science fiction, but back then we thought by the year 2000 we would have a base on the moon, cars that could fly and engines that ran on garbage. So are we as advanced as we thought? maybe not as space travel never really took off & we are doing much of the same as what we did back in the '60s, flying cars are only a prototype, and we are still burning away at fossil fuels. Not great progress if you ask me.
Advances are being made though in labs around the world on all types of clever devices, programmes, and tools, but by who and for who. When it comes to technology development, prior to massive tech companies like Google, Apple, IBM, it seemed that it was the governments who had the resources to invest in the development of technology. The only question is what did they develop and make smarter? Weapons of course.
Clever or Intelligent?
These so-called "Clever" people making so-called "Intelligent" machines, that could lead to our own demise. Terminator or Matrix come to mind. We already have Nuclear Weapons that can be launched at the touch of a button, who controls the button?
97% of human history has been involved in a war somewhere, you could say it is in our blood, so if we are to be the role models or programmers and developers of AI, then like children, will they will learn the same.
As bad as we are at times, we are equipped with a conscience, computers aren't. One day AI might just be advanced enough to become self-aware, it's not fiction, but do we want an AI that could turn from servant to master?
Will AI create mass unemployment?
Back to the present day, our biggest fear and challenge in this Digital Age is that robots and computers are doing jobs more productively than us humans. Big business knows this and the almighty profit margin and return on investment are more attractive than the human conscience. Automation is here and it is only going to get worse, why as in the long term it makes monetary sense to replace people with robots and computers. It has been happening in the big industry now for years. Next time you go to your bank or supermarket, just take note, it is all ATM and self-service tills.
They call it streamlining or efficiency, or at least that's how they try to sell it, but at what cost? Can any nation afford to have mass unemployment? Upskill, to what, as automation is on the increase in all areas now? Maybe Amazon will build big enough warehouses to employ us all, initially, but that in time will probably be automated too and Alexa will be telling us what to do!!
The personal touch is gone, everything is done online these days, retail is dying, customer service is dying, but we can't blame IT, as we are still the masters.
A Fantastic Tool
The Internet & Artificial Intelligence are revolutionary, what the World needs though is "Intelligent" people who make "Clever" IT, AI & machines, that will benefit humanity and not be a possible threat, either to our security or even our lively hood. These are ethical issues that have to be taken into great consideration.
Artificial Intelligence - What are the implications for our future, when it achieves self-awareness? Good or Bad.
Unfortunately what the world needs and what the world does are never always congruent, until its too late. You wouldn't want him back now, would you?
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