Will AI Be The End Of Mankind?
The AI takeover. A hypothetical scenario where the machines become sentient and begin their reign over the human race. This has been a scenario coined by many major blockbuster films such as The Matrix, Terminator, Resident Evil, and many more. Although many brood about this occurrence, how possible is it truly?
In 1942, a set of rules was established by a well-known writer Isaac Asimov (known as Asimov’s Laws), that dictate what a robot should and should not do. They state that:
• A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
• A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
• A robot must protect its existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
Although technology is mainly used to make the lives of us humans easier, there have been a few instances where Asimov’s first laws have been broken (instances where machines have indeed killed humans). Even though they were mainly accidental, such as with the case of Anna Maria Vital, a 40-year old factory worker for Golden State Foods, California. She was crushed by boxing machinery, as the machine’s sensor’s malfunctioned.
Read about it in more detail, here: https://www.dailybreeze.com/2009/07/21/la-puente-woman-crushed-by-robot-at-mcdonalds-supplier-in-industry/
However, many military agencies across the globe are trying to develop a method of autonomous weapons, so that humans will be out of the loop. Their reasons are “Because you don’t need a human, you can launch thousands or millions of [autonomous weapons] even if you don’t have thousands or millions of humans to look after them,” says Toby Walsh, a professor of artificial intelligence at the University of New South Wales to Vox. This implies that the use of machine-controlled weapons is more efficient than if a human were to do it; pairing this with the fact that the utilization of AI will also be much cheaper is a recipe for catastrophe.
AI automation is a double-edged sword. On one side, it serves as an aide in the industry, as it can complete all tasks we deem as tedious; the machines’ ability to use algorithms to calculate/predict outcomes we cannot is another positive facet. Nevertheless, AI has also made our ecosystem nearly unsustainable without it. Now, we are not even required to lift a finger and our house assistants such as Alexa can do everything for us – in turn, making us lazy. Even driving cars is now automated, thanks to the car company Tesla. The newer models are self-driving, so if the robots start to become sentient/ conscious – with the chance that they view us as inferior, the self-driving cars can easily end our lives by crashing itself into something.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, is doing research into measures of precaution that must be taken to prevent the takeover from occurring. Since his company utilizes Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in their cars’ day-to-day endeavors, he is researching a way to ensure that the machines are under human command indefinitely.
“AI doesn't have to be evil to destroy humanity – if AI has a goal and humanity just happens in the way, it will destroy humanity as a matter of course without even thinking about it, no hard feelings." – Elon Musk
As technology continues to advance, many are speculating that a Terminator-Esque disaster is bound to happen at some point. As of now, comparing the positive and negative, it is uncertain to say what may be happening in the coming times, all we can hope for is that a calamity, such as the uprising not occur.