Superintelligent AI

2019-09-09

Are you worried about the threat of AI? If so, you can calm down. A superintelligent AI poses about as much threat to humanity as an asteroid hitting the planet at light speed.

Is that scary? Yes. That’s why it feels so important. Is it likely? No. All of the AI scaremongering boils down to being afraid that a superintelligent AI will be capable of magic. We will be helpless, its proponents believe, because its tremendous intelligence will mean that it’s able to manipulate us effortlessly.

So what can we do about it, you ask? Not a lot. There’s nothing we can do to plan a defense against a threat we can’t predict or understand. We can try really hard not to accidentally create a malicious superintelligent AI, but that also seems like a bit of a non-starter. Anyone who would purposely make an angry computer a million times smarter than humans is not likely to be talked out of it.

It’s a great ghost story, and it’s something we should watch out for, but it’s not something that should be affecting our day to day lives.