We are reading doomsday articles on how ‘artificial intelligence’ may destroy humanity, that AGI (Artificial General intelligence) – meaning superior ’emergent’ robotic mindpower – will far outpace human capacities, leading to a superior ‘race’ of robots who will simply dispose of, or enslave, humans, and rule the world.
If these propositions were made even a year ago, we would have characterised these as a science fiction hoax being perpetrated upon us – seemingly intelligent humans. Today, with the assistance of media hype around this subject, we are willing to entertain these notions, and even become afraid for, and insecure, about our future, beginning with displacement of jobs by machines, and leading to the extreme notion of becoming slaves of machines.
The media is not hoaxing us. It is doing what it does best – headlining bytes of fear-laden half-truths, plus carefully compounded extracts of bits and pieces of speeches and promoting extreme views. Why? Because it sells. Media is an immense profit-making business, and it runs in tandem with other major profit-seeking empires that invest in media promotion.
As I will be saying in the first of my three lectures on AI, machines are not intelligent at all! And we are attributing human qualities to machines (anthropomorphisms) and attributing to machines capacity for ‘thought’, ‘feelings’, ‘willpower’, ‘intention’, and ‘sense of mission’. This is total nonsense. One Google engineer was recently fired for claiming that his ‘machines’ possessed feelings and sought equal legal rights for it, no different from any other employees, and claimed his ‘machine’ feared death! And he genuinely believed what he said. Yes, he was delusional, but aren’t we all after reading the media and believing such hype. (I underline ‘believe’ – not ‘know’).