The Future of Artificial Intelligence: The Power of Intelligence
This is the first part of a series of blog posts about the future of artificial intelligence, with a particular emphasis on the importance of working on its safety.
We live in strange times. Not in the last few years, what with the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, but rather in the last couple of hundred years. We have, in time corresponding to just a few human lifetimes, gone from riding horses to piloting jet planes, from the continents on the other end of the ocean being unreachable to celestial bodies being reachable, from medicinal herbs to mRNA vaccines, from smoke signals to the Internet. We can list comparisons endlessly.
On our planet, there now exists a species whose conscious decisions determine the future of the climate on that planet. Moreover, that species could decide to exterminate any other species. The only thing that species could hope for is that the first species changes its mind or that certain members of that species protect it. This is not, of course, the usual state of planet Earth. It is usual for us, given that the same state will be tomorrow and was yesterday. However, this is far from being a usual state.
The ascent of man
The cause of those changes is, of course, the ascent of man — but what is the cause of the ascent of man? It would be reductive to say that the cause is merely the intellligence, yet that seems like the best available reduction, lest we go into numerous other details. And the other causes are, well, also the results of human brains — there haven’t been any “gifts from the skies” which brought this state upon us, rather it was ourselves, a set of human brains and bodies that they control.
Considering this fact, that intelligence is capable of bringing about tectonic changes in the world it inhabits, leads us to the question: Does the development of artificial intelligence have the potential to bring about a similar tectonic shift?
To be continued in the next blog…