Humans could one day become enslaved by the intelligent machines they create, a renowned MIT professor has warned.
A number of prominent researchers expect AI to be able to outsmart humans at every conceivable task and job within decades.
One expert believes people may not be able to keep up with these super intelligent robots, who could ‘break out and takeover’ before destroying humanity.
Shockingly, he also claims that some of his colleagues may welcome the extinction of the species by AI, viewing them as our natural descendants.
Mankind could become enslaved by the intelligent machines they may soon create, a renowned MIT professor Max Tegmark (pictured) has warned. Shockingly, he also claims that some of his colleagues may welcome the extinction of our species by AI
The comments were made by Max Tegmark, a Swedish-American physicist and cosmologist.
He is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the scientific director of the Foundational Questions Institute.
During an almost 20 minute long presentation at the Ted 2018 conference, held in Vancouver, Canada, Professor Tegmark outlined the opportunities and threats he feels AI will bring.
‘One option my colleagues would like to do is build super intelligence, and keep it under human control like an enslaved dog,’ he said during a talk in April, which has just been published on the organisation’s website.
‘But you might worry that maybe we humans just aren’t smart enough to handle that much power.
‘Also aside from any moral qualms you might have about enslaving superior minds, you should be more worried that maybe the superintelligence could outsmart us.
‘They could break-out and take over.’
During an almost 20 minute long presentation at the Ted 2018 conference, held in Vancouver, Canada, Professor Tegmark outlined the opportunities and threats he feels AI can bring. He believes people may not be able to keep up with these super intelligent robots
Among the issues he confronted is who should be in control of super intelligent machines. Professor Tegmark added: ‘One option my colleagues would like to do is build super intelligence, and keep it under human control like an enslaved dog’
Professor Tegmark also claims that some experts would be comfortable with humanity being entirely replaced by robots.
He added: ‘I have colleagues who are fine with this, and it could even cause human extinction.
‘As long as they feel the AIs are our worthy descendants, like children.
‘But how would we know the AIs have adopted our best values?
‘And shouldn’t those people who don’t want human extinction have a say in the matter too?
‘If we don’t go far beyond today’s technology, the question isn’t whether humanity is going to go extinct, more whether we are going to get taken out by the next killer asteroid, supervolcano or some other problem.’
Professor Tegmark also claims that some experts would be comfortable with humanity being entirely replaced by robots, viewing them as our natural descendants or even like our ‘children’
Professor Tegmark hit the headlines back in May, when he revealed details of the debates between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and fellow billionaire friend Larry Page, the creator of Google.
A book by Professor Tegmark recounts a heated debate between the two tycoons at a glamorous party in the early hours of the morning in Napa Valley, California.
During the debate, Page accused Musk of being ‘speciesist’ for his apparently outlandish claims that killer robots could wipe out humanity.
The Google founder said Musk – who has spoken out about the dangers of artificial intelligence – was treating certain life forms as inferior because they were made from silicon and not carbon.
Professor Tegmark made the claim in his book, titled ‘Life 3.0: Being Human In The Age of Artificial Intelligence’, Metro writes.
Elon Musk (left) and Larry Page (right) clashed over Musk’s claims that AI will destroy humanity, causing the Google founder to label the Tesla founder as a ‘speciesist’
He describes how a post-cocktail chat about a children’s book between himself and Page soon escalated into an argument between Musk and the Google founder.
Described as a ‘long and spirited debate’, the two engaged in a war of words focusing around Musk’s outspoken views on AI.
According to Professor Tegmark, Page did not appreciate Musk implying robot overlords would bring about a dystopian future in which humans are destroyed.
Professor Tegmark writes: ‘[Page’s] main concerns were that AI paranoia would delay the digital utopia and/or cause a military takeover of AI that would fall foul of Google’s ‘don’t be evil’ slogan.
‘Elon kept pushing back and asked Larry to clarify details of his arguments, such as why he was so confident that digital life wouldn’t destroy everything we care about.
‘At times, Larry accused Elon of being ‘speciesist’: treating certain life forms as inferior just because they were silicon-based rather than carbon-based.’
In his book Life 3.0: Being Human In The Age of Artificial Intelligence, MIT professor Max Tegmark (pictured) describes a clash between Musk and Page from 2015
While Musk believes robots are inevitable agents of death, Page is a passionate advocate of a utopian future where humans and robots co-exist in harmony.
Elon Musk is one of the most prominent names and faces in developing technologies and incredibly outspoken when it comes to the powers of AI.
In 2014, he likened working on artificial intelligence to ‘summoning the demon’.
Earlier this year, Musk warned that humans could create an ‘immortal dictator’ from which we could never escape.
Professor Tegmark writes: ‘Larry [said] that digital life is the natural and desirable next step in the cosmic evolution and that if we let digital minds be free rather than try to stop or enslave them the outcome is almost certain to be good.
‘He argued that if life is ever going to spread throughout our galaxy, which he thought it should, then it would need to do so in digital form.’
A TIMELINE OF ELON MUSK’S COMMENTS ON AI
Musk has been a long-standing, and very vocal, condemner of AI technology and the precautions humans should take
Elon Musk is one of the most prominent names and faces in developing technologies.
The billionaire entrepreneur heads up SpaceX, Tesla and the Boring company.
But while he is on the forefront of creating AI technologies, he is also acutely aware of its dangers.
Here is a comprehensive timeline of all Musk’s premonitions, thoughts and warnings about AI, so far.
August 2014 – ‘We need to be super careful with AI. Potentially more dangerous than nukes.’
October 2014 – ‘I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence.’
October 2014 – ‘With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.’
June 2016 – ‘The benign situation with ultra-intelligent AI is that we would be so far below in intelligence we’d be like a pet, or a house cat.’
July 2017 – ‘I think AI is something that is risky at the civilisation level, not merely at the individual risk level, and that’s why it really demands a lot of safety research.’
July 2017 – ‘I have exposure to the very most cutting-edge AI and I think people should be really concerned about it.’
July 2017 – ‘I keep sounding the alarm bell but until people see robots going down the street killing people, they don’t know how to react because it seems so ethereal.’
August 2017 – ‘If you’re not concerned about AI safety, you should be. Vastly more risk than North Korea.’
November 2017 – ‘Maybe there’s a five to 10 percent chance of success [of making AI safe].’
March 2018 – ‘AI is much more dangerous than nukes. So why do we have no regulatory oversight?’
April 2018 – ‘[AI is] a very important subject. It’s going to affect our lives in ways we can’t even imagine right now.’
April 2018 – ‘[We could create] an immortal dictator from which we would never escape.’