In a recent interview given to BBC, Stephen Hawking, the famous theoretical physicist mentioned his concern over the fact that artificial intelligence might pose a threat to mankind. His concern has revived the long lasting debate of whether machines would take over from us. Hawking is suffering from motor neurone disease also known as the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The BBC interview focused on the new technology that is helping him to communicate with others. The technology is similar to text prediction that is used on many smart phones. It models the previous word that is used to predict the words that will be used next.
Issue of Thinking Machines
Hawking reportedly told BBC “Once humans develop artificial intelligence, it would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate.” “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
This issue has been discussed time and again through different ways, one of them being with the help of movies like Terminator, Colossus, Westworld, Forbin, etc.
Are thinking machines really a threat?
Human beings are themselves developing the thinking machines to make their work easier and faster. They are entrusting added responsibilities to these machines. With the level of work that these machines are doing, it might soon turn out to be a threat to us.
On one hand, simple devices like global positioning systems, hand-held calculators and regular mathematical calculations are used by the people. On the other hand, intelligent devices are also used which include air traffic control, driverless trucks on mine locations, guided missiles, driverless cars on roads (recent developments) and more.
They improve time, accuracy and cost which results in their increasing use. Right now, it is still a long way to go before computers can take over humans with their increasing artificial intelligence.
Risks of using These Devices
Relying on computers might not always prove to be helpful. Machines are bound to make mistakes when there is a glitch in the hardware or software. These mistakes can lead to dangerous consequences for the people.
While saving time and money, artificial intelligence might even cause severe mistakes. As of now, it is still a long time before humankind is in actual trouble of being ousted by computers.
Are you against or in support of artificial intelligence? Do you think we might get surpassed by these devices in the future? We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Image – digitaltrends.com