Tech-Dream or Tech-Hell – What’s Your Take on Artificial Intelligence?

AI will disrupt jobs more than anything else, slowly, but inexorably.

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Braing on a circuit board - What is the future of Artificial Intelligence? Artificial intelligence is the subject of a new 100-year study at Stanford University.

Artificial Intelligence is considered by many to be the best thing since sliced bread, then again others warn it will be the end of humanity.  Maybe you’ve seen Terminator and believe that Google is the next Skynet, or perhaps you’re looking forward to when AI can predict harmful solar flares?

Many experts are warning that AI will be the bane of man (and woman). Steve Wozniak recently warned that: “Computers are going to take over from humans, no question,” Wozniak said during an interview with Australian Financial Review. His opinion on artificial intelligence now aligns with worrisome predictions by Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk, Professor Stephen Hawking and even Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

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The Artificial Intelligence “Menace”

There has been a flurry of comment recently related to the supposed growing menace of Artificial Intelligence.

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and most recently, Steve Wozniak have all sounded warnings about computers taking over and artificial intelligences plotting to get rid of us.

What’s caused the sudden volume of opinion on this? Perhaps it is the apparent success of highly visible projects like Google’s self driving cars promising reduced risk transport? After all, if an Artificial Intelligence is capable of driving itself around, how long before it can do other things that traditionally would need human level intelligence?

Viewpoints like these are good for generating lots of comment, but the reality is somewhat more mundane. The AI in Google’s car isn’t a single entity but is rather a collection of different techniques and algorithms. As such, it doesn’t behave like a general intelligence, but is specific to that domain. This has been the case for as long as researchers have been looking at AI: it’s brittle.

Nevertheless, AI techniques are indeed spreading into new spheres of life all the time. So the societal impact will be profound. But can we please discuss this without resorting to fear and hyperbole.

Have a look at the videos on IGN and judge for yourself.