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Super-Intelligent Machines Spawned By Ai? Execs Aren't Worried

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Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank's communications robot Pepper.

Artificial intelligence experts were generally dismissive of the notion that super-intelligent machines eventually will surpass human intelligence.

Credit: Tim Hornyak

Technology experts and executives at an artificial intelligence (AI)-themed event this week in Silicon Valley were generally dismissive of scenarios in which super-intelligent machines eventually surpass human intelligence.

Participants in one panel discussion felt overall that although AI might one day spawn a super-intelligent computer or machines, it is so far away that preparing for it now is not a pressing priority.

Sentient Technologies' Nigel Duffy noted how online algorithms determine whether people qualify for a mortgage or a line of credit is a more important issue. Meanwhile, Viv co-founder Adam Cheyer, whose company is building an AI platform that other developers can use for their own software, said the odds of asteroids colliding with Earth were greater than those of AI subverting mankind.

The panelists' comments seem to belie AI and robotics researchers' recent warning that technological advances threaten to make the weaponization of systems that can select and destroy targets without human intervention a reality in only a few years. "The endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow," they contended.

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