ARTIFICIAL Intelligence is an inevitable part of our future, but that doesn’t stop some of the world’s leading experts worrying about the potential risks of the technology.
Here’s what you need to know about the AI, and why it can be controversial…
What is Artificial Intelligence?
AI is an area of computer science focused on creating intelligent machines – which think and work like humans.
These machines could be programmed to recognise speech, learn, plan, problem solve, and move objects around.
Scientists have been training computers to learn like humans since the 1970s, and many of us are already using AI in our everyday lives.
Voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are one example of AI. Self-driving cars are another.
While Microsoft has unveiled plans to install AI into ALL its products – allowing computers to recognise what they ‘see’, and understand human speech.
According to an independent government report, published on October 15, AI could add £630bn to the UK economy by 2035.
What are Google’s AI experiments?
Google is one of the world’s leading companies when it comes to AI – and they’re offering all of us a chance to play around with their experiments.
Some of their recent projects include ‘Quick, Draw!’ – a game where the computer tries to guess what you’re drawing before you finish.
You can also have a play with the Teachable Machine or The Infinite Drum Machine, an experiment which uses machine learning to organise thousands of everyday sounds.
What has Elon Musk said about AI?
Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has earned a reputation as one of the planet’s most visionary thinkers, but he fears AI could WIPE OUT the human race.
He’s also penned an open letter to the UN, calling for a ban on “killer robots” which could be used to slaughter innocent people if they fall into the wrong hands.
And, in one talk, Elon claimed the human race was already “part cyborg” because of its dependence on smartphones.
Professor Stephen Hawking has also shared his fears, saying: “Technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war.”
What has Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook said about AI?
It’s a battle of the boffins, as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg slammed Elon for his comments, and insisted AI will not wipe out humanity.
He said: ”I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don’t understand it.
“It’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible.
“In the next five to ten years, AI is going to deliver so many improvements in the quality of our lives.”
Facebook has been trying to take on Google with its own AI developments – with mixed success.
The social media giant was forced to shut down one experiment, and face public embarrassment, back in August, after two robots began speaking in their OWN language only they could understand.
Facebook bosses hope AI could be used to prevent suicides in the future – by integrating its existing suicide prevention tools into Facebook Live and its Messenger service.
And they’re even trying to teach computers to PREDICT the future – by teaching them to guess “what’s going to happen next”.
What other fears have been raised about AI?
Top Oxford academic Michael Wooldridge fears that AI machines could break free of human control – and turn on their creators.
His concern is that driverless cars and other devices could become so complicated that even scientists wouldn’t understand exactly how they work.
This means they might make “out of character” decisions during critical moments, such as swerving into a pedestrian or deliberately crashing into a speed barrier.
While cyber security expert Dr Nick Patterson has warned sex robots could be hacked and made to ATTACK their owners.
Others fear the threat of humans losing their jobs to robots, potentially leading to wide scale unemployment.
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