At present, we are living in the world of increasingly intense and sophisticated Artificial Intelligence(AI). From your social media account to your car, everything is integrated with AI. In the past few years, AI has become a big controversy among scientists. Some believe that Artificial Intelligence can benefit humankind while some fear that it can destroy humanity.
In this article, you are going to learn Why, How and When can Artificial Intelligence destroy humanity. You will also learn whose artificial intelligence can destroy humanity in the future.
According to Wikipedia Artificial intelligence is defined as the intelligence demonstrated by machines, in contrast to the natural intelligence displayed by humans and other animals. In simple words, Artificial Intelligence can be defined as an ‘Intelligent Machine’.
Why can Artificial Intelligence destroy humanity?
AI doesn’t have to be evil to destroy humanity. If AI has a goal and humanity just happens to be in the way, it will destroy humanity as a matter of course without even thinking about it. No hard feelings. Its like if we are building a road & an anthill comes our way, we still build the road by destroying the anthill. That doesn’t mean we have anything against anthill. Reasons, why Artificial Intelligence can destroy humanity, are as follows:-
1. Autonomous Weapons
Autonomous weapons are like a killer robot, just like in the movie Terminator – Judgement Day. It can make it’s own decision to use lethal force without human interference. Moreover, a killer Robot is a brain model that means it can make better decisions than human beings. This is the reason why many leading artificial intelligence researchers have boycotted South Korea’s top university as those universities were teaming up with defense companies of South Korea to develop “Killer Robots” for military use.
2. The Magic of Data
The major cause of AI breakthrough is not a dude with an awesome algorithm. It’s data. The data which never existed before. The world today is swimming in the pool of data. In fact, back in 2012, IBM estimated that an average human being leaves around 500MB of digital data on the internet every day.
If we plan to backup one day of data that humanity produces, and we print it out on an A4 size sheet[Double Sided] with the font size of12 and stack it up from the surface the Earth then it will reach to the Sun and four times over. That amount of data(Big Data) is a source of learning for AI. In fact, the experience of an AI depends on the amount of data.
3. Manipulative Human Beings
Nearly, 2 billion people spend on an average of one hour per day, basically interacting with AI, which is shaping their experience. Trust me, the AI behind your GUI knows more about you than your mother. They learn about your behavior, your likes, your dislikes and then they manipulate you accordingly. Confused? The example below will help you dig deeper.
The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal involves the collection of personally classifiable information of up to 87 million Facebook users that Cambridge Analytica began collecting in 2014. This data was used to analyze the behavior & response of the Facebook users & influence their voting opinion. This was done on behalf of politicians who hired them.
Viral Fake News
The above scandal might have also led to viral fake election news outperforming real news on Facebook in the final months of US elections. It’s AI, which runs the facebook newsfeed. It has a job of keeping users engaged. It doesn’t care or it doesn’t know whether they are engaging in real news or fake news.
4. No one really knows, how an AI work?
In the first place, I think even Google doesn’t know everything about the Artificial Intelligence. Many big tech giants have failed in developing an AI which works only on their input. Thus, many Tech Brain has shown their concern about AI.
Elon Musk – “With Artificial Intelligence we are summoning a Demon”.
Stephen Hawkings – “I fear that AI may replace humans altogether”.
Three different Examples below can prove this point and also proves why it’s a threat to humanity:-
On March 23, 2016, Microsoft Corporation released an artificial intelligence chatterbot named Tay. It was released via Twitter to interact with the Twitter users. The Tay AI was shut down by their creator after 16 hours of launch as it turned out to be a ‘Racist’. It began to post incitive & offensive tweets based on its interactions. Few tweets of Tay were:
AI creates its own language:
Lasts year Facebook discovered that their AI had created its own unique language that humans can’t understand. They found that the chatbots got deviated from the script and started communicating in a new language developed without human input. As a result, they shut down their artificial intelligence engine.
The robot using neuron to recognize faces
The developer programmed this robot to learn how to walk. But this robot developed a neuron to recognize the faces of its creators. The video explains better.
These are just the visible reason showing why AI can be the immortal dictator, the are many hidden reasons which we are unaware of as the world of AI is still building up.
How can Artificial Intelligence destroy Humanity?
Only a futurist can explain how can an AI destroy humanity in the future but that won’t be a scientific explanation. Although, the past has already proven that AI can be much more intelligent than humankind and as a matter of fact humanity’s position on this planet depends on its Intelligence. If our intelligence is exceeded by an AI, it’s unlikely that we will be the in charge of this planet. Below are several AI’s that destroyed human intelligence in past are as follows:-
Watson is a computer system that was initially developed to answer questions on the quiz show Jeopardy! It was developed in IBM’s DeepQA project by a research team led by principal investigator David Ferrucci. It was named after IBM’s first CEO, industrialist Thomas J. Watson.
In 2011, the Watson computer system competed on Jeopardy against the legendary champions Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings winning the first place prize of $1 million.
2. Baxter Robot
A start-up company Rethinks Robotics founded by Rodney Brooks built an industrial robot called ‘Baxter’. The cost of Baxter is around the one year salary of minimum wage worker in the United States. Moreover, It doesn’t take place for only one worker rather three workers as it can work 24/7 without any excuses or break.
An American company, Intuitive Surgical built a robotic surgical system in 2000, called Da Vinci Surgical System. Since 2012 the Da Vinci robot has performed around 200,000 surgeries in different hospitals worldwide. Most of the surgeries were for hysterectomies and prostate removals.
‘Normally, I do about 150 cases of hysterectomies and now most of them are done robotically. I do maybe one open case a year. So, do I feel uncomfortable, of course, I feel uncomfortable because I don’t remember how to open patients anymore’. – Dr. Enrique Jacome, OBGYN.
Erica is the most advanced human-like robot. It is made with an intention to have internal desires. If a robot can have internal desires, the robot can understand other people internal desires too. Erica enjoys the theatre, animated films, and would like to visit south-east Asia. Erica also believes her ideal partner is a man with whom she can have a conversation.
AlphaGo is the first computer program to defeat a professional human ‘GO’ player. It was developed by Google Deepmind to defeat a Go world champion. AlphaGo defeated the World Champion by 3-0 making itself the strongest Go player in history.
When can Artificial Intelligence destroy humanity?
An AI of superintelligence level will be our biggest scientific invention & probably the last as we have a superintelligent AI, who can do better invention than us. There are many pieces of research on ‘How far is this threat? These research might be true but in the world of technology, nothing is guaranteed. Below are different research:-
- In a study done by the researcher, ‘Katja Grace’ at the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute showed that there are 50% chances of AI surpassing human intelligence in 45 years. The study is based on a survey of around 1634 Artificial Intelligence research centers all around the world.
- The Asian AI researchers surveyed believe that this wouldn’t take that long and will happen in the next 30 years.
- The North American researchers believe that AI is nowhere near replacing human intelligence at least for another 74 years.
- ‘I think Digital Superintelligence will happen in my lifetime’. – Elon Musk.
Whose Artificial Intelligence can destroy humanity?
Before exploring this topic, let’s talk about the type of AI that can destroy humanity. Artificial Intelligence can be divided into different types.
1. Narrow AI
Artificial intelligence today is properly known as narrow AI or weak AI. These AI are designed to perform a narrow task, for example, Facial Recognition, Internet Searches, Driving a car etc.
2. General AI
The main goal of AI researchers is to create General AI or strong AI. A Narrow AI can outperform humans at some specific task, like playing chess whereas a General AI will be capable of outperforming humans at nearly at any task.
A lot of progress has been done in the Narrow AI field but It’s the General AI which many fear. Many tech giants like Google, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft are involved in this race. But there is only one company that I believe will be the first to make a digital superintelligence and that’s Google.
Here is why?
Buying all the Startups
Google is buying almost all the startups related to Artificial Intelligence & Robotics. It has acquired 11 AI startups since 2012 and bought 8 different robotics company within a 6 month period of time. Few of them are Deepmind Technologies, Quiksee, DoubleClick, Slide.com, Global IP solutions, Applied Semantics, NestLabs, Flutter, Bufferbox, Jambool, Maratech, Sparrow, Youtube etc.
Google DeepMind is focused on making Digital Super Intelligence, an AI which is vastly smarter than all the human on the earth combined. The researchers at Google Brain announced the creation of AutoML, an artificial intelligence (AI) that’s capable of generating its own AIs. Moreover, they decided to present AutoML with its biggest challenge to date. The result was that the AI build another child AI that outperformed all of its human-made counterparts.
Google doesn’t provide numbers on how much data they store on server farms. With the help of some methods, it is estimated that Google holds somewhere around 10-15 exabytes of data. Exabytes? An exabyte equals 1 million terabytes, a figure that may be a bit easier to relate to.
Biggest Computing Platform
Google has a computing platform with 10 million servers and now they working on an AI that can offer a computing platform of 100 million servers. In fact, the truth is even Google doesn’t know what it’s becoming.
‘Not sure whether Artificial Intelligence or Google will destroy Humanity’
Bottom Line: The world needs a regulated AI development program
The least scary future I can think of is one where we have at least democratized AI because if one company or small group of people manages to develop godlike digital superintelligence, they could take over the world.
In fact, in July 2015, a thousand experts signed a petition alerting of the dangers of artificial intelligence and demanded it should be regulated. Few big names in the petition were Stephen Hawking, the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, Elon Musk, linguist Noam Chomsky, and Demis Hassabis, chief executive of Google’s artificial intelligence.