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Is AI an Existential Threat?
Humans have been fascinated with robots for ages. Scores of AI researchers and computer scientists are seeking to create the most intelligent AI machinery and wanting to give them consciousness akin to that of a human mind. Witnessing the rate at which the technologies of AI and machine learning are evolving, one might say that humans have already attained a fair amount of success, with artificially intelligent assistants like Siri and Watson, self-driving vehicles, and algorithm-based applications like Uber and Lyft, in the limelight. There are innumerable applications of artificial intelligence in modern day civilization.
In the movie I, Robot, the central artificial intelligence VIKI going rogue makes one ponder the duality of machine intelligence. Scientists have feared that empowering machines with cognition could be a hit-or-miss for humanity. A super-intelligent AI in the right hands can eradicate war, disease, and poverty, and the same can spell extinction for our race in the hands of the wrong person.
The strongest possibilities of AI posing as a threat in the near future could occur in these security domains:
• Digital security: Organizations are beginning to use AI for smarter cybersecurity against sophisticated hackers. Not even a step behind; cyber attackers are using AI for automated hacks, enabling the AI to learn about the targeted systems and their vulnerabilities.
• Physical security: In a world where mass homicides are recurrent, an ill-devised autonomous weapon or system would be extremely disastrous.
• Political security: Use of AI for spreading propaganda against an opposing party or manipulating videos to imprint misleading ideas on the public are threats relating to privacy invasion and manipulation of society.
The implementation of machine consciousness might make machines smarter than humans and they might be able to do things better than we know how to tell them.
'How do you build an intelligent machine?' is one of the most fundamental, intellectual questions across all the sciences. It's a mystery like 'what is the origin of the universe,' or 'what is the nature of space.'