A hot topic these days is the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the following decades which I have touched briefly in a previous article. Some believe in a Terminator like scenario where machines will be ruling the world while others consider such claims to be far stretched.
Billionaire technopreneur Elon Musk has repeatedly come in conflict with people like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma on the topic of AI taking over the world. When the Facebook boss claimed that the doomsday scenario put forward by Musk was unhelpful, Musk accused him of failing to understand artificial intelligence. On a later occasion, Musk and Ma recently clashed on AI at a conference held in China.
According to Musk, the biggest mistake AI researchers make is assuming they’re intelligent which they are not when compared to the intelligent computers. AI will likely take over humans and we will become to them what monkeys are to us today.
I think generally, people underestimate the capability of AI. They sort of think like, it’s a smart human. But it’s, it’s really much—it’s going to be much more than that. It’ll be much smarter than the smartest human. It’ll be like, can a chimpanzee really understand humans? Not really, you know. We just seem like strange aliens. They mostly just care about other chimpanzees. And this will be how it is more or less in relativity.
Ma holds the view that the humans have invented the robots instead of the other way around and hence computers may be clever, but human beings are much smarter.
You have a vision about the technology. I’m not a tech guy. I think I’m all about life. I think AI is going to open a new chapter of the society of the world that people try to understand ourselves better, rather than the outside world. And it’s so difficult to predict the future. 99.99 percent of the predictions that human beings had in history about the future—all wrong.
In my personal view, we often ignore in such discussions the difference between intelligence and consciousness.
- Will intelligent machines discover a path to conquering the world? Most certainly yes.
- Will they have a desire to follow that path and rule the world? I am not sure.
Deeper human desires emerge from being conscious of the world around them. And these desires lead us towards performing certain actions. While it is straightforward to imagine a supremely intelligent computer, it is very difficult to imagine that the computers will somehow develop desires similar to humans. We need biology for that.