If you’re interested in artificial intelligence at all, you’ve probably read these two stories already. If not, you should:
I try not to comment too much on the doomsday aspects of AI because, at the risk of coming down on the wrong side of history, I’m one of the people who think those fears are overblown. But I have a couple of points I want to make:
- A prominent AI researcher once told me that a relatively dumb computer virus run amok is probably a more likely cause of widespread damage than is anything you might call “super-intelligent.” Surveying history, you can see that he has a point about how things tend to play out.
- Humans have always been full of bad ideas, and one of technology’s biggest impacts has been helping spread them faster and farther. One could argue that our salvation will come from scaling back the ways we use technology and getting more in touch with our humanity.
I believe AI will augment and improve many aspects of work and life, while also having some negative side effects we’ll need to combat (e.g., filter bubbles, over-reliance on machines, and discrimination). I hope Musk’s Neuralink succeeds in helping treat the symptoms of degenerative brain diseases, which has been suggested as the prototype. But I don’t think I’ll be signing up for the brain upgrade.