Some philosophers and scientists at Britain’s Cambridge University think the question of artificial intelligence in machines deserves serious study. Enter I, Robot!
A proposed Centre for the Study of Existential Risk will bring together experts to consider the ways in which super-intelligent technology, including artificial intelligence, could “threaten our own existence”, the institution says. Many scientists are concerned that developments in human technology may soon pose new, extinction-level risks to our species as a whole.
“In the case of artificial intelligence, it seems a reasonable prediction that some time in this or the next century intelligence will escape from the constraints of biology,” Cambridge philosophy professor Huw Price said.
When that happened, “we’re no longer the smartest things around” and risked being at the mercy of “machines that are not malicious, but machines whose interests don’t include us”.
Fears that machines could overtake humans have long been the subject of science fiction — the computer HAL in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey or V.I.K.I (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence) featured in the Isaac Asimov based film I, Robot or the super computer Skynet in the Terminator series.
Professor Price acknowledged some thought his concerns were far-fetched, but he insisted the potential risks were too serious to ignore.
“It tends to be regarded as a flakey concern, but given that we don’t know how serious the risks are, that we don’t know the time-scale, dismissing the concerns is dangerous. What we’re trying to do is to push it forward in the respectable scientific community,” he said.
Advanced technology could be a threat when computers started to direct resources towards their own goals. Yikes!!