Monday, January 12, 2015

Supercomputers Eventual Enslavement of Mankind? Artificial Intelligence Experts Sign Open Letter, Pledge to Protect Humans from Future Master Race Machines.

""AI experts around the globe are signing an open letter issued Sunday by the Future of Life Institute that pledges to safely and carefully coordinate progress in the field to ensure it does not grow beyond humanity's control. Signees include co-founders of Deep Mind, the British AI company purchased by Google in January 2014; MIT professors; and experts at some of technology's biggest corporations, including IBM's Watson supercomputer team and Microsoft Research.

"The potential benefits are huge, since everything that civilization has to offer is a product of human intelligence....We recommend expanded research aimed at ensuring that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial: our AI systems must do what we want them to do," the letter said in part. A research document attached to the open letter outlines potential pitfalls and recommends guidelines for continued AI development.

The letter comes after experts have issued warnings about the dangers of super-intelligent machines. Ethicists, for example, worry how a self-driving car might weigh the lives of cyclists versus passengers as it swerves to avoid a collision. Two years ago, a United Nations representative called for a moratorium on the testing, production and use of so-called autonomous weapons that can select targets and begin attacks without human intervention.

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk have also voiced their concerns about allowing artificial intelligence to run amok. "One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand," Hawking said in an article he co-wrote in May for The Independent. "Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.""

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