When we take a look at the world today and all the advancements that are being made in science, technology, and other related areas, we can clearly see that the human race has a bright future ahead of them.
Technology advancements are being used to help people work more productively, to improve the lives of individuals, to make certain tasks faster and more convenient, and even to save lives.
In the past few years, a lot of advancements has been made and, while most people think of these developments as a positive impact on the human race, some people have spoken out about potential dangers that technology and the future of artificial intelligence may hold for the human race and for the planet we live on.
Thus, there is now a constant debate between whether future artificial intelligence will be our friend or might be a potential enemy of human kind.
Stephen Hawking’s Warning
In December 2014, BBC News had the opportunity to speak to Stephen Hawking after he warned scientists (and the human race) about future artificial intelligence. Stephen Hawking is a recognized professor that is of British origin, but he is well-known throughout the entire world. He is a theoretical physicist. The professor suffers from a motor neuron disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS for short. He recently started to use a new type of artificial technology to help him speak. The technology learns how the professor thinks and then predicts what he wants to say. The system was developed by Intel.
After the system was developed, Stephen Hawking started to question the developments in artificial technology and spoke out regarding the potential dangers that this type of technology might pose to the future of our lives. The professor explains that the human race is very limited due to the fact that their biological evolution is very slow – especially when compared to how fast an artificial intelligent robot (or computer) can develop and evolve. Thus, when you compare the evolution of humans to the evolution of A.I., it becomes clear that the human race could easily be surpassed by artificial intelligence.
The creator of an artificial intelligent chatbot, named Cleverbot, did not agree with the claims that Stephen Hawking made regarding the future of artificial intelligence. He explains that the scientists who develop artificial intelligent technology will remain in charge of what they develop for at least a very long time, thus this type of technology does not seem to pose any type of threat to the human race at the moment.
He also explains that, instead of looking at artificial intelligence as a threat to our race, we should rather look at it as an opportunity to help us solve complex problems in a short amount of time – thus, the advantages that we can gain from these developments are currently far more superior to any of the threats they may pose to us in the far future. He also explains that, even though we see a continuous improvement in artificial intelligence, we are still a very long way from achieving a milestone of developing full artificial intelligence.
Google’s DeepMind API Shows That It Could Go Either Way
Since there are so many concerns about how A.I. technology will impact the future of our lives and planet, a team of scientists has recently decided to do an experiment to determine whether A.I. could pose a threat to us, or rather work with us. The researchers developed two games and used the Google DeepMind API’s artificial intelligence to see how A.I. technology would react in certain environments – as in would they work with other players or against other players.
They used a special technology that provided an agent that played the game with the Google DeepMind API. The technology used could be explained as an intelligent virtual assistant, developed to help them monitor the behavior of artificial intelligence and to see whether the technology would be friend or foe.
The first game consisted of a 2D environment where the players needed to collect green apples. The player with the most apples at the end of a round is declared the winner of the round. Each player was given the ability to use a laser in order to remove another player from the game temporarily. The game was run one thousand times to get an accurate overview of how the A.I. would work.
The scientists noticed that when there is an abundance of apples, the A.I. was perfectly cooperating with the other players while collecting the apples. As soon as the stakes got higher (fewer apples were available), the artificial players started to turn against each other.
The other game was called “Wolfpack”. In this game, players (A.I. bots) were wolves and they had to capture prey. The reward for capturing prey got higher when there was more wolves, or players, in the same area where the prey was caught. This time the bots from Google’s DeepMind API played in cooperation with the other players in order to improve their score.
Instead of sabotaging the other players that were involved in the game, the bots rather worked with them in order to gather in the same proximity to allow all players to gain a higher score when prey was caught. Thus, the results of the experiment showed that artificial intelligent technology could go either way and often depends on the scenario it is placed in.
When it can gain the benefit from working together with another bot or person, it would, but, if they were to work against a bot or human, and the stakes got high, they would sabotage the others to gain the advantage.
Looking back at how technology advanced in recent years and taking the future plans for artificial intelligence into account, some people would think that the human race may be at a disadvantage. Since this type of technology utilizes advanced algorithms that are often more complex that the human brain can process, it may seem like a threat.
Even though this is true, it is important to note that the scientists behind this technology are human and they are in control. Thus, we should not have any reason to fear artificial intelligence for many years to come. At the moment, this technology can be used to help us succeed and progress in life.