In news that will raise nobody’s spirits, the human race could be extinct in a matter of decades, so sayeth scientists.
So, we really hate to break it you, but apparently, that’s a very real possibility.
By 2050 in case you want to get a date in the diary, reports the The i100 – which is slap bang in the middle of the millennial’s lifetime…
If you’re wondering why this might be the case, it’s not down to a meteorite hurtling towards the earth or the escalation of a geopolitical nuclear pissing contest, but instead – robots…
This is according to the former director of legislative and public affairs at the National Science Foundation, Jeff Nesbit who has written 24 books and analyzed the latest advancements in Artificial Intelligence.
After conducting his extensive research into the matter, he concluded the human race could be extinct by 2050 or – on the complete opposite end of the spectrum – we could be immortal, which frankly sounds a whole lot better.
The author believes current robots could develop into an ASI – an ‘artificial super-intelligence’ – which is basically the equivalent of a ‘supercomputer,’ which could thrash human intelligence and solve all our problems, apparently.
Superhuman AI bots may not be a completely terrifying concept though, as scientist and author, Ray Kurzweil, believes these sorts of ‘beings’ could help to eradicate war which would be helpful.
Scarily, Rollo Carpenter – behind Cleverbot software – has some foreboding views on the impact of artificial intelligence though.
We cannot quite know what will happen if a machine exceeds our own intelligence, so we can’t know if we’ll be infinitely helped by it, or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it.
He’s not the only one who thinks this about our robotic friends, as billionaire businessman Elon Musk told students in an interview we were ‘summoning the demon’ with AI.
He said at a conference:
If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that [artificial intelligence]. So we need to be very careful.
With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like – yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Doesn’t work out.
Professor Stephen Hawking is also hugely against this sort of robotic technology too and joined Musk in penning an open letter.
Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilising nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group.
Starting a military AI arms race is a bad idea, and should be prevented by a ban on offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human control.
Clearly Hawking feels so strongly about this he even condemned humans to extinction in an interview with the BBC.