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Will AI Drive the Human Race Off a Cliff?

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A car flying off a cliff.

A recent panel discussion focused on the potential of artificial intelligence to threaten humanity's existence.


A recent panel discussion in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) focused on the need to develop policies to prevent artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning from evolving to the point where it exceeds human intelligence and threatens humanity's existence.

"The arguments are fairly persuasive that there's a threat to building machines that are more capable than us," noted University of California, Berkeley professor Stuart Russell. "If it's a threat to the human race, it's because we make it that way. Right now, there isn't enough work to making sure it's not a threat to the human race."

Meanwhile, Carnegie Mellon University professor Manuela Veloso stressed AI's potential benefits. "We'll have machines that will help people in their daily lives," she predicted. "We need research on safety and coexistence. Machines shouldn't be outside the scope of humankind, but inside the scope of humankind." Veloso said ensuring AI remains beneficial and not malignant depends on having people improve themselves and use technology for good.

ITIF president Robert D. Atkinson argued most people's projections about the arrival of autonomous, self-aware systems are overly optimistic, noting intentionality will be a missing element for a long time.

From Computerworld
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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