The pace of technology continues to accelerate at lightning speeds, pushing human capabilities further into the future. Technology flies our planes, recommends TV for our viewing enjoyment and navigates us through traffic. The next five to ten years will be crucial in determining what artificial intelligence’s last legacy on humanity. Will we be at its whim, like pets, as Steve Wozniak suggested?
With his eye trained to outer space, it’s no surprise Elon Musk is worried that artificial intelligence may create ‘an immortal dictator from which we would never escape’ and eventually dominate the world. He’s concerned humanity has already lost grip of the technology and may never regain control.
The most vocal about the dangers of AI was the late Stephen Hawking, believing it to be an ‘imminent threat’ to humanity. As one of the greatest thinkers of our time, his opinion holds tremendous weight. Professor Hawking theorized a future in which AI could redesign itself faster than we could control, eventually contributing to the end of humankind.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak had a dystopian view of AI in that he theorized a world in which humans were robots’ pets. Since he made that statement, his stance has reversed and now he is a supporter because of the ‘vast and mysterious capacity of the human brain’ which he believes to be incomparable to anything a machine could learn.
Regulation Is Overdue
Both Musk and Hawking were skeptical of the negative societal effects of unregulated artificial intelligence technology. With the technology concentrated in a few hands, wealth distribution becomes the biggest problem for humans. The bounty created by AI must be regulated and distributed so that all humans can share in the leisure. Otherwise, AI will simply become “new ways for the few to oppress the many” as Stephen Hawking warned.
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