What will artificial intelligence bring?

I have noticed a lot of talk about artificial intelligence recently.

First, I’m reading The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly. This book has an entire chapter dedicated to artificial intelligence. It doesn’t view AI as a threat, to humans, as other sources are predicting it to be.

Second, the last two conferences I’ve been to this year have heavily gotten behind the idea of machine learning.

Third, one of my favorite bloggers (David from Raptitude dot com) wrote a post about it this week. David’s post, definitely, took the view of seeing AI as a potential threat to humans.

Four, it was announced today that Elon Musk launched a company called NeuraLink. Its goal is to merge the human brain with AI. Elon has stated that the purpose of this venture is to protect the human race against the likely threat of AI destroying us. The venture is aimed at keeping us ahead of the curve.

A lot of smart people are worried about the future AI, including Stephen Hawking. They seem to believe that once machines get smart enough to grow and think on their own, the only logical step will be to wipe out the human race. Or, since they will grow, very rapidly, and be much smarter than humans, we will eventually cease to exist. Our incredibly slow biological growth rate won’t be a match for AI’s rate of growth.

I agree with Kevin Kelly on this one. Since our human brains developed consciousness, and the ability to be social and empathetic, who is to say that artificial intelligence won’t do the same. It could be the nature progression of higher intelligence.

The predictions of AI, assume that it will be cold blooded and completely rational. If the human brain developed empathy, social skills, and emotions to survive, why won’t AI do the same? Honestly, no one knows. I suppose it’s a safe bet to assume the worst, and begin preparing just in case AI is cold blooded.

In the short run, I think that AI will indeed remove a lot of jobs that we have had for years, but it will add new jobs that we can’t yet imagine nor predict. I don’t think that AI taking over our jobs is a real threat, because it will simply create new jobs for us.

At one point, being a farmer was a common job. At another point, doing the same task in a factory was a common job. Right now, accounting and other office jobs are very common (truck driving is incredibly common), but those will soon be replaced with something new for us to do. We have to wait and see what those new jobs will look like. What if we all have to become programmers?

*After writing this post I stumbled upon Tim Urban’s articles on artificial intelligence. Wow. They’re really good and really long reads. Check out part 1 here and part 2 here. They painted a vivid picture as to why AI will be a big deal for humanity’s future. You’ll definitely like them.