After almost 79 years on this beleaguered planet, let me say one thing: this can’t end well. Really, it can’t.
In fact, among those who have spoken out fearfully on the subject is the man known as “the godfather of AI,” Geoffrey Hinton, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence. He only recently quit his job at Google to express his fears about where we might indeed be heading, artificially speaking. As he told the New York Times recently, “The idea that this stuff could actually get smarter than people — a few people believed that, but most people thought it was way off. And I thought it was way off. I thought it was 30 to 50 years or even longer away. Obviously, I no longer think that.”
Now, he fears not just the coming of killer robots beyond human control but, as he told Geoff Bennett of the PBS NewsHour, “the risk of super intelligent AI taking over control from people… I think it’s an area in which we can actually have international collaboration, because the machines taking over is a threat for everybody. It’s a threat for the Chinese and for the Americans and for the Europeans, just like a global nuclear war was.”
And that, indeed, is a hopeful thought, just not one that fits our present world of hot war in Europe, cold war in the Pacific, and division globally.