Steven Hawking And Colleagues: We’re Not Preparing Enough For Artifical Intelligence

PIC: Giasela Giardino (CC)

PIC: Giasela Giardino (CC)

“If a superior alien civilization sent us a text message saying, ‘We’ll arrive in a few decades,’ would we just reply, ‘OK, call us when you get here — we’ll leave the lights on’? Probably not — but this is more or less what is happening with AI, warns Stephen Hawking and several other scientists in this article at the Huffington Post. As a quick aside, did anyone see Transcendence? Is it as crappy as I hear?

Via Huffington Post:

Artificial intelligence (AI) research is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, a computer winning at Jeopardy!, and the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now and Cortana are merely symptoms of an IT arms race fueled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation. Such achievements will probably pale against what the coming decades will bring.

The potential benefits are huge; everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools AI may provide, but the eradication of war, disease, and poverty would be high on anyone’s list. Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history.

Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. In the near term, for example, world militaries are considering autonomous weapon systems that can choose and eliminate their own targets; the UN and Human Rights Watch have advocated a treaty banning such weapons. In the medium term, as emphasized by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in The Second Machine Age, AI may transform our economy to bring both great wealth and great dislocation.

Keep reading at the Huffington Post.

24 Comments on "Steven Hawking And Colleagues: We’re Not Preparing Enough For Artifical Intelligence"

  1. Honestly, the idea of artificial intelligence appeals to me greatly, just for the chance that something will remember humanity after we’re gone. If the end of the oil supply or famine brought on by climate change do us in, but we can accomplish the creation of something smarter than us before we go, then it won’t be as if we were never here.

  2. Kjvyn Koldt | Apr 21, 2014 at 8:45 pm |

    Aliens have been [back] here for decades and are the culprit of our “progression” into artificial intelligence.

  3. Call me a cynical old techno-Luddite (ironic really, for an early-adopter/creator/worker with computers for the last 25+ years, sitting here surrounded by enough tech to make my teenage self weep with envy) but it seems to me that there’s a huge gulf between genuine / actual artificial intelligence and what we actually have, i.e. massive number-crunching and highly specialised / targeted programming for very specific purposes.

    At this point it’s just more hollow, baseless “futurist” pipe dreams, or to put it bluntly, a combination of wank-fodder and comforting religion-subsitutes for the deluded “digital immortality” set.


    • Simon Valentine | Apr 22, 2014 at 11:39 am |

      i love when there’s an answer embedded in the proceedings

      wank-fodder, though, that’s one of the primes

      AI is more like hanging bulbs during Christmas than the categorical “contemporary passings for/as if AI”

  4. I think if we design some sort of AI that can adapt and learn and improve itself it will either kill us all due to the atrocities that mankind commits or it will just build some space ship and say “peace bitches” and leave earth and go colonize some other planet. I think some advanced species of aliens long ago visited earth and looked at us and how we think and the things we do to our planet and each other and were like fuck this place we are out of here.

  5. Rhoid Rager | Apr 22, 2014 at 12:00 am |

    Maybe it’s just my skewed outlook, but I feel deeply that ‘artificial intelligence’ is an oxymoron. Intelligence (sentience) forms on its own and doesn’t need poking and prodding to come into being. That’s the problem with the materialist vision of the universe—they think everything is dead and needs to be resurrected.

    Also, if another intelligence (friend) is sought, why not just smoke some DMT?

    • Simon Valentine | Apr 22, 2014 at 11:40 am |

      i like your calculus friend

      i like your calculus, friend

      • Rhoid Rager | Apr 22, 2014 at 5:38 pm |

        Nice to see you again.
        I haven’t seen our mutual friend, Calypso, for some time. I fear he may have left.

        • Echar Lailoken | Apr 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm |

          He rebuked a certain common disinfo agitator recently, but omitted his comments. Only the ghost is left in that ghastly video dump of a thread.

          • Rhoid Rager | Apr 22, 2014 at 7:16 pm |

            Oh good. That’s reassuring. It irks me that I can only rely on all of the interesting people on disinfo to post comments, and there is no way I can contact them outside this forum. Relationships with people through Disqus are ghastly ephemeral.

          • Echar Lailoken | Apr 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm |

            Agreed, and even without personal messaging, the internet is a fickle medium. As far as relationships go, meatspace trumps cyberspace.

          • Rhoid Rager | Apr 22, 2014 at 7:30 pm |

            With Disqus all you ever get is the tip. Just the tip.

          • Simon Valentine | Apr 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm |

            oh what the simple bit shift of the clocks may hide
            this spring

          • Matt Staggs | Apr 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm |

            I’ve been known to be a go-between when two established and trusted commenters both agree via separate emails that they’d like to continue their discussion off-site. I do some research first, though, and I have to have explicit requests from all parties involved.

  6. InfvoCuernos | Apr 22, 2014 at 12:10 am |

    Ya, we might not be prepared for Skynet, but we got this zombie apocalypse just about sewn up. What’s Mister “Negativity” Hawking got to say about that? first he’s all on about how we should go dark and be careful of aliens, and now its the AI? What a party pooper.

  7. BuzzCoastin | Apr 22, 2014 at 12:19 am |

    human intelligence is artificial already
    butt they can’t see that because
    machines & electricity have created an invisible artifice
    upon which human artificial inteligence hangs

    Sent from my Android

  8. We’re not preparing enough for natural intelligence either. :-/

  9. terrasodium | Apr 22, 2014 at 7:20 am |

    Ray Kurzweil and L.Ron Hubbard are two of my favorite cult science fiction writers.

  10. Are we doing enough to prepare for the cumming of the Techno-Jesus? More Singulatarian horseshit and Crisis Cultism.

  11. emperorreagan | Apr 22, 2014 at 11:20 am |

    I’m still worried about these human innovations called “government” and “capitalism.”

  12. Simon Valentine | Apr 22, 2014 at 11:37 am |

    you may identify the battles
    but i see you’re still only predicting the war

  13. I feel that technology is on the cusp of computers being able to program themselves. I think once that starts, whether you want to call it intelligence or not, it’s going to lead to a rapid transformation of what we think of as technology. Our big mistake is thinking that what ever replaces us is going to be something like us.

  14. Google + Lobbying $$$ + Kurzweil = Skynet

Comments are closed.