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Sunday, May 24, 2015

How the machines will take over by Tad Simons

Tad Simons, freelance writer in St. Paul reports, "With our complete and blissful cooperation. At least that’s how I would do it, if I were them." 
Photo: Minneapolis Star Tribune

In recent months, several prominent champions of technology — Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, and Tesla founder Elon Musk among them — have declared that the greatest threat to humankind is not climate change, nuclear warfare, religious fanaticism or bacterial superbugs. No, according to these famous forward-thinkers, the threat we should really be worried about is advanced artificial intelligence.

That is, we should be worried about supersmart robots and computers guided by a globally networked über-entity that will one day be able to outlearn, outthink and outcompete the human species and send it hurtling toward extinction.

Late last year, Hawking, a physicist, came right out and told the BBC: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

Photo: Elon Musk
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In a recent symposium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tesla’s Musk said that creating advanced artificial intelligence was “summoning the demon.”

In a forum on the Reddit website earlier this year, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Gates said he agreed with Musk that advanced AI represents an “existential threat” to humanity, and added, “I don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”

Of course, super-intelligent machines taking over the world has been a trope of science fiction for decades, from Karel Capek’s 1921 play “R.U.R.,” in which a race of self-replicating robot slaves revolts against its masters, to Isaac Asimov’s short story “Robot Dreams”; from movies such as “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the “Terminator” series and “The Matrix” to TV shows such as “Star Trek” and “Battlestar Galactica.” It even shows up in video shoot-em-ups like “Halo” and “Mass Effect.”

Now, however, we are being asked, and warned, to take this threat seriously.

Should we?

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune